One of the main benefits of filing a legal case when custody is an issue is that you can get a clear Court-ordered parenting plan which details when each parent has the children and what their respective rights and responsibilities are. Each parent must obey this order and there are serious ramifications if it is ignored.
If the other parent refuses to obey the current order, there are several short-term and long-term options.
In the short-term, it is important to enforce the order. You can do so by contacting the police and having them enforce the order on your behalf. If you have a copy of a clear order, the police will oversee any transfer of the children. You can also file an emergency motion in Court which can often be heard within 2 to 3 days.
In the long-term, it is important to make the Court aware of the other parent’s actions and ensure that they are held responsible for disobeying the order. Depending on the details of your case, you may want to file a Complaint for Contempt and request the other parent be punished. Possible remedies can include a modified parenting plan, a legal finding of contempt, an award of attorneys’ fees, financial sanctions, or even a jail sentence in some extreme situations.
Even if you do not file a Complaint for Contempt, making the Court aware of the other parent’s actions can have a strong effect on the ultimate outcome of your custody case. The practical fact is that a Judge is less likely to give a parent custody of a child is they have shown a proven history of disobeying and disregarding Court orders.
If the other parent is not obeying the Court’s orders, it is important that you protect yourself and your legal rights. Contact us child custody attorney Marc P. Feldman to see how I can help.