When a judge makes a decision regarding child custody, it carries the force of law. Because of this, parents must comply with the terms of the established court order or face strict legal consequences. If a parent fails to cooperate, there are several legal measures that can be taken to ensure that the custody arrangement is enforced.
Keep Copies of Your Parenting Agreement
If you need to enforce custody orders, you should first inform proper parties of the details of your situation. This precaution can help reduce the risk of an unforeseen incident. It is important that you and anyone involved with your custody or visitation agreement keep copies of the agreement for reference, and that any changes to your custody arrangement are accurately recorded and shared with all appropriate parties. Frequently used babysitters, relatives, or anyone else who is substantially involved with your children should be aware of who is authorized to interact with your kids so they can plan accordingly.
Contact Law Enforcement
If a parent ignores the established court order, you can contact your local police department and request that they enforce the court’s decision. In addition, you can seek to involve the county district attorney’s office’s Child Abduction and Recovery Unit for further support. To be clear, this method should only be used if the other parent is in violation of your custody order or refusing to allow you to see your child during your court ordered window of time.
File for Contempt
If you are able to provide evidence that the other parent has deliberately disobeyed the court’s wishes, an action for “contempt” can be filed with the court. If the action is approved, the court will order the noncompliant parent to adhere to the custody arrangement or face stringent penalties, including the possibility of serving jail time for their infraction. Keeping a journal or calendar with specific recorded times where issues occurred can help strengthen your claim. It is necessary that you seek the guidance of a skilled attorney from our firm if an action of contempt is needed, as the process can be quite complex.
We Can Help Enforce Your Custody Arrangement
If you are struggling to achieve cooperation from a noncompliant parent, a Riverside County divorce lawyer from Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich can help. With more than 5,000 family law cases under our belt, we can provide you with time-tested legal representation to help solve your family struggle.
Complete a free case evaluation or call our office today at (951) 506-6654 to discuss your situation with an experienced family lawyer from our firm.
Child Custody: Recommended Reading
To learn more about child custody arrangements in California, visit the following pages: