Sometimes visitation matters concerning children can cause friction in Texas families. In many states, grandparents have visitation rights to their grandchildren, and when they are denied, such matters can end up in court. A couple has been accused of child deprivation and their case has wound up in the family courts.

The woman involved in the case is the former daughter of a Congressman. She and her husband have been accused of depriving the child’s paternal grandparents the right of visitation. They allegedly took the grandchildren across the border a few years ago and remained in another country for over three years.

Authorities tracked the couple and three sons to Mexico last year and when they were eventually found, the Congressman thanked the authorities for locating the children. The couple was charged with custody deprivation in the matter, and after pleading no contest to the allegations, they will be required to serve several years of probation and community service. Initially, the couple pleaded not guilty but decided to change their pleas to avoid forcing their children to testify. Nevertheless, the couple will appeal the ruling, and the children involved are now in the temporary guardianship of their paternal grandparents.

Matters of visitation and custody can be sensitive ones for Texas families and others around the nation. However, many states have laws that allow grandparents the legal right to visit their grandchildren. When someone deprives them of that right, the case could wind up in court. Those allowed visitation have legal rights and can seek help if they feel their rights are being violated.

Source: Claremont-La Verne Patch, “Congressman’s Former Daughter-in-law Pleads No Contest to Child Deprivation,” Nov. 8, 2012