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Lawmaker pushing for compliance of state law that makes child custody interference a crime

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Two years and more than $100,000 later, a civil court judge ruled Claudia's ex-husband would have to escort their son from California to San Antonio for his court-ordered visits, but by then, Claudia said the damage was done.

Her now 16-year-old son, Mark became so distant that he eventually stopped calling her "mom".

"I knew that I'm just disregarded and that was a really big moment," Claudia said.

Claudia lost her relationship with her elder son, Mike, a few years before when he decided he wanted to live the majority of the time in California with his dad.

At the time, Claudia said she was supportive of his decision.

"You're hoping that everything's going to be reciprocated just like the way that you would encourage him to go visit dad and call dad, but it doesn't work that way and it stopped," Claudia said.

According to Claudia, her son's dad allowed him to miss multiple visits during her appointed time.

Three years later, her worst fear was realized when her younger son, then 13, decided he also wanted to move to California.

"I knew what I was facing," Claudia said. "History would repeat itself and it did."

Even though her civil trial resulted in regular visits with her son, Claudia wasn't awarded joint custody with regard to parental rights.

The Trouble Shooters learned there is another option for parents fighting an ex-spouse over custody.

State statue 25.03 states child custody interference is a crime.

"We're gonna require peace officers to make a report if they've been called to the scene where a custody agreement is not being followed," said State Senator Jose Menendez (District 26).

He wants to increase awareness and compliance of the child custody interference law, which he is hoping to amend through Senate Bill 2011.

"I want to make sure that I pass something that makes it crystal clear that this is a law that needs to be abided by," Menendez said.

In San Antonio, there are about 1,000 visitation violations reported to San Antonio Police every month.

Only a handful of those rise to the state jail felony criminal offense of child custody interference.

Claudia think that number would be much higher if more parents were aware of the law.

If you want to pursue a criminal case, you should request the officer make a criminal offense report at the scene.

Senate Bill 2011 was heard today in the State Affairs Committee.

For more on the status of the bill, you can click here SB2011.

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