Child custody orders are put in place upon a judicial finding that they are in the child’s best interests. However, if your child’s other parent has been violating your court-ordered parenting agreement, you can take legal action to enforce that order.
Whether your co-parent made significant decisions for the child without your knowledge, or they are relocating without your consent, a knowledgeable Stamford child custody enforcement lawyer can help. Our team’s committed child custody attorneys understand the local legal system and will work to ensure a positive outcome in your case.
Some custody violations are relatively minor, such as a parent losing track of time and returning a child late. However, when the violations are severe and consistent, a Stamford parent may need to enforce the terms of the custody order with the help of a lawyer. Examples of custody or visitation breaches that affect a child’s best interests include a parent:
If a parent observes any of these behaviors, gathering evidence like texts, social media posts, emails, and voicemail messages can be helpful evidence in an enforcement action. A knowledgeable local lawyer can also assess a situation and the evidence a parent has gathered to determine if the violations rise to the level of court intervention.
Once a family law judge has issued the order or parenting plan, both parents are bound to adhere to the stated terms. If one parent violates those terms, they face the potential of being held in contempt of court.
The process begins with a parent filing a Motion for Contempt. In the motion, the individual should detail the alleged violations and state the outcome they are seeking from the court. Once filed, they must serve the pleading and any associated documentation on the offending party.
At a contempt hearing, a judge determines whether the alleged violation rises to the level of contempt based on the clear and convincing evidence standard. If the court determines that the offending parent willfully disobeyed the custody terms, they may be ordered to pay fines, the other party’s legal fees, or in extreme cases where the contempt is severe and continuous, and where a modified order would not otherwise resolve the dispute, serve time in jail.
Law enforcement is typically reluctant to get involved in disputed custody matters and may advise a party who calls to seek relief in family court. However, the police will step in to keep the child safe if the offending parent’s actions place the child in danger.
A parent who believes the co-parent is jeopardizing their child’s safety should contact local law enforcement immediately. Even if the police do not act, having the police report can be highly useful in a contempt proceeding. The individual should also reach out to an attorney in Stamford to protect their rights and child’s interests as soon as possible as they prepare their custody enforcement case.
Enforcing child custody and visitation orders can be complicated, particularly when emotions run high. Parents may be unsure of the steps to take when their child’s other parent continuously disregards the custody schedule.
An experienced Stamford child custody enforcement lawyer is committed to helping parents reach a favorable solution when the co-parent violates the custody order. Call our trusted legal team today to learn more about your enforcement options.