Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

You may be overwhelmed and frustrated if your co-parent does not follow the custody order established in your case. You also might wonder how to enforce the order and whether to go to court.

While a parent can violate a custody order from time to time without ill intent, you may need to take legal action with the help of our proactive child custody attorney if they consistently disregard the order’s terms. A dedicated Simi Valley child custody enforcement lawyer could secure the other parent’s compliance by filing a petition to enforce or for contempt of court.

What Constitutes a Custody Order Violation?

Custody orders approved by Simi Valley family court judges generally state which parent is their child’s primary custodian and when the child visits the other parent. The order might also designate where and when the parents are to exchange the child, how they will share holidays and vacations with the child, and whether they can participate in the child’s activities.

A parent who disregards a custody order’s terms may be subject to legal action. Some common examples of custody violations include a parent:

  • Enrolling a child in activities without the other parent’s consent
  • Unreasonably withholding a child from their other parent
  • Arriving late to pick up or drop off the child for scheduled time with the other parent
  • Disparaging the other parent to the child or in the child’s presence
  • Refusing to provide details of a child’s travel itinerary
  • Removing a child from the state without the other parent’s knowledge or permission
  • Engaging in activities prohibited by the custody order’s terms, like drinking and driving with the child in the vehicle

A knowledgeable lawyer in Simi Valley could investigate a parent’s unique circumstances and determine if they have grounds to seek court enforcement of a custody order.

Law Enforcement Assistance in Simi Valley Child Custody Enforcement

Few things are more concerning to a parent than the other parent refusing to return their child. The first thought they may have when their co-parent violates the terms of a custody arrangement is to contact the police. A parent may even consider criminal charges against their ex for their willful noncompliance.

Law enforcement will act immediately if a parent endangers a child. However, they generally will not intervene and enforce a custody order without specific instructions from the court. Typically, a police officer will refer a parent to their child custody enforcement attorney for guidance on rectifying the situation.

Enforcing Custody and Visitation Orders in Simi Valley Family Court

If a parent violates a custody order clearly specifying when their child will be with each parent, the other parent can file a petition to enforce the order. A judge may require the parent to follow the order’s terms or risk criminal sanctions, including incarceration.

A parent may also seek contempt of court charges against their co-parent for intentionally violating the custody order or court-approved parenting plan, preferably with the assistance of a skilled Simi Valley attorney. To proceed with a contempt action, a party must file an Affidavit of Contempt and Order to Show Cause. If a judge determines that the offending parent willfully disregarded the court order for custody or visitation, they can fine the other parent or order them to jail.

Get in Touch with a Dedicated Simi Valley Attorney about Child Custody Enforcement

A divorce or breakup can be emotional and stressful. The anger and hurt feelings related to the ending of a relationship can cloud a person’s judgment and cause them to act contrary to their children’s best interests. If one parent denies the other parent contact with the child or otherwise disregards the custody order, the child is often the one most hurt.

A capable Simi Valley child custody enforcement lawyer could help protect a parent’s court-ordered custody and visitation rights. Call our committed legal team today to help negotiate a resolution or take your co-parent to court to ensure their compliance with your custody order.

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Hoffer Family Law Firm