Ideally, child custody issues are resolved with a court order. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for an ex-spouse to violate this arrangement, even if it is a legal document ordered by the court. If the ex-spouse violates any clause in the child custody order, you should contact your child custody lawyer serving Owings Mills right away. Your divorce lawyer will evaluate the situation and provide legal guidance.
Have Certified Copies of the Court Order
You should always have certified copies of the child custody order on hand. If you only have a verbal agreement with your ex-spouse regarding parenting time, you need to contact a divorce lawyer and request help obtaining a court-ordered child custody arrangement. If the divorce was particularly contentious and your ex-spouse has a history of hostile behavior, you may wish to keep a certified copy of the court order with you when it’s time to pick up your child.
Consider Communication with the Other Parent
The police and the courts do not generally encourage requesting enforcement actions for minor violations of the court order. Consider whether the nature of the violation may have harmed your child in any way. If not, consider discussing the violation with the other parent. It may be best to do so in writing, such as by email, so that there is a record of the communication.
Keep a Record of Violations
In addition to keeping records of your communication with your ex-spouse, it’s important to keep detailed records of each violation. As soon as the violation occurs or you become aware of it, write down the date and exactly what happened. Make a note of how the incident specifically violated a clause of the court order.
Consider Police Intervention
For serious violations of a child custody order, consider contacting your local police department. For example, if you go to your ex-spouse’s home to pick up your child and he or she refuses to let the child go with you, you should generally call the police. Remember that the police cannot take any action unless they see a certified copy of the court order.
Contact Your Family Lawyer
Keep your family lawyer informed of the violations. Your family lawyer can send a notice to your ex-spouse advising him or her of the court order. If needed, your lawyer can request that the judge hold the parent in contempt of court.