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How do you co-parent when there’s a no-contact order in place?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2019 | Child Custody

If there has been domestic violence in a relationship, or accusations of domestic violence, the victim may be able to seek a no-contact order. That’s basically what it sounds like: an order to prevent contact of any kind — in person, by phone, text, email or other means of communication, including social media.

Unlike a restraining order or protective order, a no-contact order can only be issued if there is some type of legal action (like an assault charge) pending against the defendant. People can seek restraining or protective orders against someone who may not have been charged with a crime. No-contact orders typically end if and when charges are dropped, the defendant is found not guilty or they have served their sentence.

So, what happens if the couple (or former couple) at the center of the no-contact order have children? If the defendant isn’t accused of abusing their children, they may still be able to have some type of contact with them, such as supervised visitation in a neutral location. Texas has a number of designated locations for supervised visitation.

How do parents communicate about their children when there’s a no-contact order in place against one of them? If that parent violates the order, they can end up in more legal trouble than they’re already in?

The court will generally specify the method(s) by which parents can communicate (solely about their children) and how they will exchange the kids for visits. There are parenting apps that allow parents to share information without direct communication — for example, through shared calendars and journals.

Sometimes, a third party will be designated as the go-between for sharing information about the children. That third party may also be the one designated to be present when the kids are with the parent who’s been charged with or accused of a crime.

If you have a no-contact order in place against your co-parent (or you’re the person named in a no-contact order), it’s essential to make sure that your custody and visitation agreement and parenting plan specify how you and your co-parent will exchange information about the kids — and exchange the kids themselves. Your family law attorney can help you address these issues in these documents.