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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Dispute over child custody escalates quickly

Texas parents may be familiar with the stress that can come from child custody exchanges, especially when other family members become involved. It can be difficult to ensure child custody exchanges are made peacefully when parties do not follow the rules outlined in a court order. Though a custody order is put into place by a court to solidify things like visitation schedules, sometimes people let emotions get the best of them and a custody exchange gets out of hand. 

Recently, a routine custody exchange resulted in a feud between two grandmothers. The custody exchange was being made at a crowded local park, and the child in question was a 1-year-old girl. The child's mother has custody, while the father has a set visitation schedule. Witnesses say that a dispute began when the paternal grandmother pushed the maternal grandmother, and the situation quickly became life-threatening when the maternal grandmother displayed a handgun. The child's father was able to wrestle the weapon away from the woman, but not before a round was fired, striking the pavement.

The father states he is seeking a modification to the custody arrangement as a result of the frightening incident. Police responded to the scene, and revealed that disputes at custody exchanges are not uncommon. They offered advice for keeping custody exchanges peaceful, and the families involved in the incident have agreed to meet in the parking lot of the police station from now on. While it can certainly be difficult to keep emotions in check when dealing with contentious family situations, it is important to be sure that custody orders are followed, regardless of how a family member may feel. 

When a parent or family member is at odds with a court-ordered child custody order, it may be difficult to not act out on feelings of anger and frustration. Orders can be modified, but the state of Texas requires modifications to be made in a court of law. It may be helpful for those seeking a modification to contact a compassionate family law attorney, as an attorney may have the experience and knowledge needed to help families put an order in place or modify and existing order, before things get out of hand. 

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