Child custody is one of the issues that arise during a divorce. The court may either grant sole or joint custody. In each of these cases, the parents can be punished and penalized for violating a custody order. Here are some frequently asked questions about enforcing child custody orders.
Should You Report Minor Violations in Court?
Courts expect parents to abide by the provisions of child custody orders. Parents are supposed to act in the child's best interests by following the conditions in the custody order. Therefore, you may not succeed if you rush to court for a minor violation of a custody order without trying to settle the issue with the co-parent.
In case of a minor violation, your child custody lawyer can help you reach out to the other parent. Respectfully let the other parent know about your concerns about certain violations and your thoughts on how to resolve these issues. If the parent's actions have a negative effect on the child, you need to explain to them how you feel in a composed manner.
What Are Your Options If the Parent's Violations Persist?
If after trying to reason with the co-parent, they still continue to violate the child custody order, you have several options. First, you can contact the local police in your area and ask for assistance enforcing the order. The police will request a copy of the child custody order before they can take any action.
The other option is to reach out to the district attorney in your jurisdiction. This is especially applicable where a co-parent fails to return the child after visitation. In this case, you should report the matter to the Child Abduction and Recovery Unit. Lastly, you can file a contempt action in court. Here you can ask the court to enforce the order. When filing a contempt action, your child custody attorney will advise you to present records of custody and visitation violations.
What Are Examples of Child Custody Violations?
Child custody violations can take many forms, and the one accused of these violations may face a fine. The parent may even lose some of their rights under a custody order for serious violations. Keeping the child longer than required in the custody order is one common violation. In some cases, the co-parent can be found in contempt of the custody order by leaving the child under the care of an unauthorized person.
Other examples of violations include taking the child out of the state or for a long trip without seeking approval, failing to inform the other parent about the child's whereabouts, and denying the other parent their visitation or custody rights. Some parents even go to the extent of kidnapping the child. Don't take things into your own hands; instead, make sure you keep your attorney informed about any child custody order violations.