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What to do if Your ex Violates Your Custody Order

Posted by Gossman Law Firm, LLC || 9-Aug-2018

When a couple decides to split up, emotions can run high and some parents find themselves frustrated with the terms of their child custody agreement. When parents develop bitter feelings towards each other because of this, they will sometimes ignore the rules of their child custody arrangements. But what should you do when a child custody dispute arises between you and your ex and they violate the terms of the custody order? In this blog, we explain how to handle this type of situation.

Child Custody & Child Visitation

Child custody establishes one parent’s legal guardianship over a child. There are different kinds of child custody orders, but a legal guardian is generally responsible for physical supervision of the child and can also make major decisions for the child.

Regardless of which party has custody, most parents are given visitation rights to be with their child(ren) at regular, specified periods. Custody does not terminate parental rights; each parent still has the right to be involved with their child(ren) unless there are specific orders otherwise. During emergency situations, either party can file motions to protect children until the case can return to court to be presented before a Judge.

What Should I do if my Ex Violates the Custody Order?

Usually when a parent violates a visitation order, it’s for something like keeping the child for too long or failing to pick them up at the agreed upon time. Parents have many options to use if their court order is being violated by their ex, including:

  • Call the Police: If your ex is aggressive, violent, or you are unable to resolve the dispute on your own, call law enforcement to have them resolve the situation.

  • Get Legal Help: Consult with an attorney about any violations that your ex has committed. An attorney can send a letter informing the other parent about the legal consequences for not obeying the court order.

  • File a Motion with the Court: You can file a motion for contempt of court if your ex persistently violates the custody order. You can also make a claim for attorney’s fees and other expenses with this motion.

What are the Consequences of Disobeying a Child Custody Order?

Disobeying a child custody order handed down by a court can have harsh consequences, such as:

  • Parents who aren’t in violation of the order can petition the court for enforcement.
  • Violating parents can be called to appear in court to explain their rationale for violating the court order.
  • The court can find the violating parent in contempt of court, which can result in jail time.
  • The violating parent can lose custody rights that were previously granted to them by the court.
What Things Should I Avoid Doing?

If your ex is in violation of your custody order, do not attempt to take matters into your own hands. Instead, refer to guidelines contained in the child custody and visitation orders and always take the moral and legal high ground when things get difficult.

Don’t ignore your ex’s violations of court orders. Document the violations and then report them to the police, your attorney, or the court.

Never speak negatively about the other parent in front of your children. Courts look down on parents who attempt to turn their children against the other parent during a custody dispute.

We can Review Your Case Today

If your ex has violated the terms of your custody agreement, you should immediately reach out to our skilled family law attorneys to discuss what legal options are available for you. We will review your case and determine a strong strategy that will protect your rights and interests.

Call (205) 422-0704 to speak with a Birmingham divorce lawyer about what steps you should take to enforce your custody order. Schedule your free consultation.

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