What Can I Do If My Ex Is Refusing To Follow Our Custody Order?
Unfortunately, child custody orders are far too commonly violated by one party or the other. While sometimes instances occur as a one-time, unintentional violation, many times one parent blatantly disregards the arrangement detailed in their child custody order. Common examples of violations of a child custody order might include:
- A parent’s refusal to return the child to the other parent at the scheduled time
- A parent not allowing the other parent to speak to the child when they are in his or her custody
- A parent’s refusal to give the other parent information when they have taken the child out of state for vacation, etc.
- A parent alienating the child from the other parent
- Any other action in contradiction to, or in violation of, the current child custody order.
If your child custody order has been, or is being, violated, it’s important to know that there are legal remedies available to you. You generally have two legal options:
- The first thing you can do is file a motion to modify the current child custody order. By requesting a change in custody, you can request that the judge give you more time with the child. If, for example, you currently share joint physical custody with the other parent, you can ask to have that modified to primary physical custody. You have to prove that there exists a substantial change in circumstances to get this ordered by the court, but it is a remedy that you can avail yourself of.
- The second thing that you can do, is you can file a motion for contempt. Doing so will reveal to the court that the other parent is failing to abide by the current custody order, therefore you request they be found in contempt for violating the court ordered arrangement that is in place. Your ex will then have to appear in front of the judge and explain to the judge why he or she is failing to follow the court order. In response, the judge may limit the guilty party’s excess time with the child. The judge may even allow for you to have additional time to make up for time you have missed with your child because of the violation of the order.
In a situation where a parent is found in contempt for withholding a child from the other parent, or violating the current custody order in any way, the court may impose very serious penalties. The judge may order that the parent in contempt be ordered to pay a fine in response to their violation, or in serious situations, they may even impose jail time for a parent shown to have been purposely and continuously violating a custody order.
Co-parenting with defiant or uncooperative ex’s can be especially draining and frustrating, however, it’s important to know that there are legal remedies that you can take advantage of in this situation. To discuss your rights, and options regarding a child custody situation, contact our office to schedule a consultation with our experienced Family Law attorney. Our office can be reached at (702) 998-1188, email@example.com, or by scheduling a consultation online.