A child custody order is meant to protect a child’s relationship with both parents and give them a stable routine to follow. Unfortunately, when one parent is determined not to follow that court order, it leads to confusion and lost parenting time. If you’re co-parenting with someone who has no issues with denying you your parenting time, you need to find out what your legal options are.
The team at Coumanis & York can help. We’ve navigated every type of custody dispute under the sun, and we know how important your visitation time is to you. Call us at 251-336-3121 to set up a consultation now.
Different Remedies Are Available
There are different options that may be available to you when your parenting rights are being violated. However, it’s generally recommended that you begin with the least intrusive or confrontational method and ramp up as needed. This gives the other parent time to turn around their behavior and perhaps preserve the co-parenting relationship.
Your attorney may recommend filing for a modification of custody. If you have missed multiple visitations due to the other parent’s actions, the court may allow you to make up those visitations by adding onto the current schedule until you are caught up.
The court can also try to intervene in the interpersonal issues leading to the custody dispute by requiring one or both parties to attend counseling. Mediation is another option that may be available.
Repeated and Willful Violations
If this isn’t a matter of a few missed violations, but ongoing misbehavior on the part of your co-parent, you may have to go back to court. In some situations, the court may order a performance bond. The other parent has to pay a certain amount of money to demonstrate their willingness to comply with the visitation order. If they comply for a set period of time, the money is returned to them.
Contempt charges are another option to explore, particularly if the other parent is adamant about refusing you visitation time and has not responded to other enforcement actions. Your attorney will file a motion for contempt, gather the evidence of your efforts to follow the custody order, and prepare for court. The court will look at the evidence and may require the other parent to pay fines or spend time in jail.
Will the Police Help?
Some parents attempt to call the police to help with the enforcement of a custody order. In the majority of situations, the police will not get involved, as it is a civil issue and not a criminal one. You may still call if you wish, as they may be willing to file a report for you and prove that you did attempt to use your parenting time.
Proving Your Attempt to Follow the Order
If your co-parent is confrontational, be ready for them to try to turn the focus back on you when you try to hold them accountable. It is crucial that you show that you have attempted to follow the custody order every single time.
Even if the other parent has not confirmed visitation or you believe they won’t show, go to the assigned spot at the right time. If it’s at a store or gas station, buy something from them near the time of the exchange to show that you were there. Phones also gather data on photos you take, so take a photo of the exchange site to show that you were there at the appropriate date and time.
Keep Your Attorney in the Loop
You do not want to navigate these types of issues alone. A co-parent willing to risk jail time to keep their children away from their other parent may also be willing to use underhanded tactics to get you in trouble or deny you your parenting time. With an experienced and aggressive family law attorney in Daphne, you can be one step ahead of your ex at all times. Your attorney can explain your options, the possible outcomes of each choice, and their recommendations.
Reach Out to Coumanis & York Now