One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce is that you may no longer be able to see your kids every day. You're doing everything you can to keep the bonds strong, and to make the time spent with your children meaningful.
However, if your children's other parent denies your visitation rights outlined in the custody agreement, you may have to take action. Similarly, if the other parent fails to bring them home after a scheduled visitation, an immediate resolution may be necessary.
Can the Police Help?
You may decide to call the police if you're denied access to your children or if there are problems with the visitation schedule. A police officer who responds to your call may decide to enforce your existing order or determine the issue is a domestic matter best handled by a judge.
If the officer decides to enforce the agreement, he or she usually accompanies someone to the other parent's home. There, the officer stresses that by law, the individual must comply with the custody and visitation agreement, and outlines the consequences for not following it.
How the Court May Help
It's up to you to inform the court that the other parent isn't upholding a custody or visitation agreement. You may do this by filing one of the following:
- A Notice of Non-Compliance. When you file this notice with the court, you're notifying it that the other parent is knowingly and voluntarily violating the terms of your existing custody or visitation agreement. You're asking the court to enforce the agreement.
- A Motion for Order to Show Cause. As with a Notice of Non-Compliance, this motion notifies the court the other parent is knowingly and voluntarily violating the terms of a custody or visitation legal agreement. You're asking the court to hold the other parent in contempt of court for failing to comply with the agreement.
- A Petition for Order of Protection. If you believe your children’s other parent poses an imminent threat of serious harm to your children, you might have to file a Petition for Order of Protection. If the court finds probable cause of this harm, it may grant you temporary sole custody until a hearing convenes.
After a divorce, it's often easier to try to let things go and not face the other party. However, in the best interests of your children, it's critical for each adult associated with their wellbeing to follow the letter of the law as agreed. For their benefit, you must be diligent with all custody and visitation issues.
Don’t Try to Enforce Your Visitation Agreement Alone
Instead, get skilled legal representation so you can be confident all your rights are protected. The experienced family law attorneys of Genus Law Group encourage you to gather the necessary documentation and evidence about how your children’s visitation plan is implemented. Specifically, you can:
- Maintain a calendar of all dates and times your children were with you. If your children were late being picked up or returned, please make a note of the exact time and whether you received any reason for the delay.
- Save any emails, texts, instant messages, or phone messages between you and the other parent regarding visitation or custody issues.
We want to help you maintain a strong and healthy relationship with your children. That includes making sure you have the time with them as outlined in visitation agreement. If that agreement is violated, please contact us today to learn more about your rights, and how we may help you remedy this situation.