Depending on the level of threat to the child, refusing to return the child might be a valid option if you think the child is in imminent danger. If possible, speak with an attorney about your situation before taking any action.
Talk with the parent about your concerns, and try to work out a solution that allows the child to stay with you. If the parent has been away a long time, talk about making any transition as easy on the child as possible. You could offer to take the child to the new home for progressively longer visits to the new home for a gradual transition.
If talking to the parent doesn’t work and the danger to the child is immediate, call 9-1-1 (for an emergency) or CPS at 1 (800)-252-5400 (if you suspect the child is being abused or neglected).
Sometimes, after parents separate, other family members miss seeing the child who has gone to live with only one parent. Grandparents have limited rights and non-relatives have even fewer. Maintaining a positive relationship with the parent of the child is one way to continue to see the child.
Before you contact the parents, think about how committed and how much time you can consistently spend with the child. Maintaining relationships when there has been conflict may not be easy, but it is possible. Communication tip: Be a good listener, be understanding, and stay focused on your goal, remaining involved with the child. Don’t argue. Don’t use adjectives. Stay positive, focus on what can happen.
Read about Enforcement of Visitation here, or download the TexasLawHelp.org Visitation Kit.