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

Custody orders are intended to help children and their parents maintain consistent schedules. They also set out each parent’s role in making significant decisions relating to their children.

If there is an existing custody order in place, and your child’s other parent is not abiding by it, a seasoned attorney could help you enforce its terms. Thousand Oaks child custody enforcement lawyers understand the importance of adhering to a court-ordered parenting-time schedule and could work to ensure your co-parent’s compliance.

Custody Orders Are Legally Binding on Both Parents

A child custody order is an enforceable contract between parents that addresses both legal and physical custody as well as the care and well-being of their children. Regardless of whether parents agreed on custody and visitation for their children or a judge decided for them, both parents are legally bound by it once a final order is issued.

Either parent’s failure to comply could result in severe court sanctions. If a parent is not abiding by a valid custody order, a knowledgeable attorney in Thousand Oaks could help the other party to the parenting-time schedule enforce its terms and seek appropriate legal remedies.

Non-Compliance with Child Custody Orders is Actionable in Thousand Oaks

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one parent to interfere with the other’s time with their children. The non-compliant parent may think they are justified in disregarding a custody order if they believe the other parent puts the children in danger or does not care for them appropriately.

Regardless of one parent’s reasons for violating the terms of a custody order, the other parent may take legal action against them to enforce the order. Therefore, before disregarding a custody order for any reason, a parent should consult a local child custody enforcement attorney to discuss their legal options.

Understanding Contempt of Court Proceedings

Contempt of court refers to a party’s willful disobedience of a court order. When one parent asks a judge to hold the other in contempt, they are claiming that the other parent purposefully disregarded the existing order. Deliberately disobeying a court order is considered a crime in most cases.

A finding of contempt can have severe consequences for the non-compliant parent. Under California Civil Code §1218, examples of penalties for disobeying the terms of a child custody order in contempt of court include:

  • Community service
  • Administrative and supervision fees for the community service
  • Jail time
  • Increased community service hours and prison time for each contempt finding

Under state law, a parent’s contemptuous behavior, such as denying the other parent access to their child, could also warrant a change in custody.

Contempt is serious, and a parent seeking to hold the other parent in contempt should fully understand the implications before proceeding. A seasoned lawyer in the Thousand Oaks area could counsel a parent on the use of contempt charges as a way to enforce child custody orders.

How Can Parents in Thousand Oaks Enforce Child Custody Orders?

The parent seeking enforcement of a custody order has the burden of proving that the other parent deliberately disregarded its terms. If enforcing a custody order requires taking the non-compliant parent to court, keeping detailed records of their custody violations can be extremely beneficial. Emails, phone records, witness statements, and police reports can help a diligent Thousand Oaks attorney as they prepare to present a strong child custody enforcement case to a local family law judge.

Learn More about Enforcing Child Custody Orders from a Thousand Oaks Attorney

While both parents may fully intend to comply with a custody order after it is issued, circumstances can change. If your child’s other parent refuses to respect an existing court order and their violations are significant enough to impact your child negatively, get in touch with an experienced Thousand Oaks child custody enforcement lawyer to learn about the legal remedies that may be available.

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