Child custody means a person has legal guardianship over a child. There are various types of child custody orders, but a legal guardian typically has physical supervision of the child and can also make decisions for the child.
Child visitation is the right of a person to visit a child who is under the custody of another person. Child visitation rights cannot be denied without the consent of a court.
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My Child Custody/Visitation Court Order Was Violated, What Can I Do?
Parents usually violate a visitation order by keeping a child for too long or failing to pick up a child at the right time. You have many options to use if your court order is being violated. Here are a few options:
- Call the police: Call the police if you are unable to resolve the issues on your own.
- Seek Legal Assistance: Alert your attorney about the violations. Your attorney can send a letter notifying the other parent about legal penalties for not obeying the court order.
- File a Motion with the Court: You can file a motion for contempt of court if the other parent continues to violate the court order. You can also request attorney’s fees and other costs with this motion.
Read more information here: Violation of Visitation Orders
What Could Happen If a Parent Disobeys a Child Custody Court Order?
Disobeying a court child custody order may result in harsh consequences:
- Non-violating parents could petition the court for enforcement of the order.
- Violating parents may need to appear in court and explain why they violated the court order.
- The court could find the violating parent in contempt of court, which could lead to jail time.
- The violating parent could also lose custody rights previously granted by the court.
What Should I NOT Do?
Do not take matters into your own hands. Follow the child custody and visitation orders. Always take the moral and legal high ground.
Never ignore violations of court orders. It is in your best interest, and your child’s, to document violations and report it to your attorney or the court.
Do not speak negatively about the other parent. The courts prefer that both parents be involved in the lives of their children; “turning” your child against the other parent will not help your custody dispute.
Should I Get a Family Law Attorney?
Yes, family law cases can be complex, especially when they involve children. An experienced child custody attorney will be able to help you enforce your child custody or visitation order. You may consider reading about How much a child custody lawyer cost