Steps You Can Take to Enforce Your Order
Once a child custody order is put into place by a court after a divorce, you and your spouse are legally required to follow its terms. While accidents may happen and some circumstances may be best met with flexibility, it's a completely different story when one parent willfully and consistently chooses to not follow a custody order. When facing this situation, what are your options to enforce the terms of an order of court?
Attempt an Amicable Resolution
If one parent is not following your court order, one of the first steps you should take is to try and work things out with the other parent. Listening and communicating with one another is helpful to understand why the issue arose in the first place. Once there is an accurate understanding of the problem, parents can work together to come up with a creative resolution in the best interest of their child.
Seek the Help of the Court
For some, communication with the other parent is either not practical or unsuccessful. If, through a good faith effort, you are unable to reach a resolution with the other parent, then you may wish to seek the court’s help to enforce the current custody arrangement.
The court can issue a number of different types of orders to enforce an existing custody arrangement, including but not limited to ordering make-up time for missed parenting time and/or visitation, ordering the offending parent to pay attorney's fees or other court costs, and even finding the offending parent in contempt of court (which may be accompanied by fines or jail time).
Starting the Paperwork
To start the enforcement process, you will need to file a motion with the court. Generally, the motion will need to state specifically the terms and order that you believe the other party is violating. It is also important to contemplate and clearly articulate what remedy you are seeking by filing the motion with the court. Once the motion is filed and properly served, the court will set a hearing date. During the hearing, both you and the other parent will have an opportunity to present your perspective of the events that transpired surrounding the violation. The court will then make a decision on what order to issue after a series of appearances, if the parties are still unable to reach a resolution while in the litigation process.
Work With Your Child Custody Attorney
When your ex-spouse refuses to obey your custody order, you do not have to tolerate their actions. Know that you have the ability to defend your rights as a parent, as well as the terms of a court order, and the attorneys at Laubacher & Co. can help. We will work with you to learn your situation, help you move forward with the best option to request the court enforce your current child custody order, and protect your rights to be a parent to your child.
Learn more about child custody enforcement in Ohio or schedule your consultation by calling us at (440) 336-8687 or by visiting our website.