What Do I Do If My Ex-Spouse Is Violating Our Child Custody and Visitation Order?
If one spouse is violating an order, and there can be no agreement as to how to resolve the issue between the parties, then one of the parties will need to file a motion to ask the judge to enforce the order. Depending on the kind of visitation violation, there are three options available to you:
- The first one is, you can file a motion to enforce custody and visitation. This is a motion you would file if you want the other party to obey the court order. You will both appear in court, and explain to the judge why the order is being violated. The judge may give you make-up time for any time that you miss with your children, because your ex-spouse withheld a child from you, or the children from you.
- The second thing you can do, is file a motion to enforce, and/or for order to show cause. This motion serves to punish the other party for failing to obey the court order. The judge may punish the other party with sanctions, with fines, and even sometimes with jail time.
- The final thing that you can do, is file a pickup order. This is filed in case of an emergency when you need to have your children immediately returned to you. Through this order you are essentially asking the judge to award you temporary sole custody.
A pickup order is usually used and enforced by law enforcement personnel. If you need assistance in having your children released to you, you would call law enforcement, present them this pickup order, and at that point they will get involved. Law enforcement is generally hesitant to get involved in domestic disputes, unless they are presented with an order, and this pickup order is usually the one that they will get involved with.
The most important thing for you to remember, is that before you file any of these motions or the pickup order, you must, by court rules, try to settle the issues with your ex-spouse before you file anything. It is important that you don’t just quickly go file something before you try to communicate with your ex-spouse. It’s also a good idea to do it in writing, so that you have proof that you attempted to negotiate and try to resolve the issues before you filed any of the three motions or order that I discussed.
If you are dealing with a spouse violating custody, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with an experienced family law attorney. Our office can be reached at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.