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Parent failing to follow custody order? Consider seeking contempt

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Divorce

Although you may have negotiated a child custody and visitation arrangement that seems appropriate for your child, ensuring that everyone adheres to that agreement can be challenging. Parents often get into spats over educational, extracurricular, and medical decisions, with each parent thinking that he or she knows what’s best for the child.

But if your child’s other parent isn’t abiding by the child custody order that’s in place, then you may need to take action to ensure compliance. How do you do so? To start, you may just want to try to talk to the other parent to get at the heart of the issue and determine if you can resolve the matter amicably.

Filing a request to show cause

If amicable resolution isn’t an option, though, then you may need to file a request to show cause. This is a motion that is filed with the court requesting that the other parent come to court and give reasons why he or she shouldn’t be held in contempt for failing to abide by a court order.

When you file this motion, you’ll need to specify which court order is being violated and how it’s being violated. You should be as detailed as possible in this motion, notating when the violation or violations occurred and the surrounding circumstances. Remember, too, that you’re going to have to show that the other parent willfully violated that court order if you hope to obtain a contempt finding.

The penalties for contempt

If the court finds the other parent in contempt, then it has the ability to fine the other parent or put him or her in jail for a short period of time. The court can also order make up parenting time or that the parent complete some sort of programming, such as parenting classes or substance abuse treatment.

A contempt finding can also go a long way toward helping you obtain a more favorable child custody order. That said, the ultimate goal of contempt is to gain compliance with the court’s order.

Consider seeking help for you child custody disputes

We know that dealing with child custody and co-parenting issues can be stressful, but help is available. So, if you’d like to learn more about what you can do to bring a parent into compliance with an existing court order, then please continue researching the matter so that you can take the action that’s right for you and your child and schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help.