Though the court will create a legal visitation order in a child custody case, there is no guarantee that both parents will adhere to it.
Enforcement of the original custody order may be necessary.
Naturally, custody attorneys and the family court do hope that divorced parents will be able to put their differences aside and cooperate enough to co-parent successfully, but there are times when that does not happen.
Ideally, parents should try to work out visitation and other issues on their own, but if the situation deteriorates to a point where a non-custodial parent is denied visitation by the custodial parent, custody lawyers find that it might be time to return to the courts for some assistance.
Make Sure Original Custody Order is Enforceable
When visitation is being denied to a parent, the first thing that parent must do is refer back to their custodial order and make sure that a visitation order is actually enforceable.
An enforceable original custody order must be written clearly as well as precisely and contain specific instructions about visitation and what must be upheld by both parents.
A custody order that contains only language that suggests visitation is by agreement between the two parents is not enforceable as it is and will require either clarification with the help of a custody attorney or legal modification first.
Then A Motion Can Be Filed
After determining that visitation requirements in the custody order are enforceable, a parent can file a motion for enforcement of original custody.
To do so, the motion must include information such as which part of the custody order has been violated and when, proof of these violations, and the relief requested in response.
Certain Things Must Be Proved
It is also important that non-custodial parents being denied visitation understand the actual definition of denial and how the court will interpret it.
To file a motion for enforcement of original custody, parents must be able to prove that they were at the pre-arranged pickup location at the pre-arranged time for the request to be considered valid.
Custody attorneys recommend documenting dates, times, and circumstances that can provide that evidence, as well as collecting testimonials from others that can verify it all.
This pattern of enforceable denials is critical to the motion.
An Enforcement Custody Hearing
After filing a motion with the family court and upon providing the required evidence, non-custodial parents and their custody lawyers can request that the violating parent be charged with contempt, after which they will be served with a Show Cause Notice and Citation.
Once the response has been on file for 10 days or ultimately in the absence of a response, an enforcement hearing will be arranged so the judge can hear the case and enforce the visitation order as necessary.
Depending on the circumstances, this could result in the custodial parent being punished in some way.
Contact A Custody Lawyer For Help
When facing visitation enforcement issues, parents should contact a custody lawyer who can help them decipher their custody order, then help them through the enforcement process if necessary.