Child custody is an important matter that is brought up in the court of law and, when it is in place, must be regarded at all times. There are many things that you should never do when one parent disobeys the custody agreement. For instance, you should never take matters into your own hands and always document the violations so that you can report back to your attorney or the court. From a moral standpoint, you should always obey the court order and the other parent must, too. So, what are some things that you should definitely do?
Things to Keep in Mind
Reach out to the ex on how you can avoid negative happenings. Let’s say that your child was expecting their father to come pick them up; however, they never showed for their visitation. You can explain to your ex in a text or email, as lightly as possible, that you want to avoid this same situation happening again and ask them how you can help them with that. Coming up with a solution and working together can lighten the situation for everyone and also avoid future conflict. However, this does not mean that you should angrily call or text your ex about how upset the child was and that you hate them for making the decision not to come – quite the opposite.
Consider changing the custody agreement. This is something that you can choose to speak about with your ex if you are both on speaking terms. If the father is always choosing not to show up, then it means that they cannot stick to the schedule. You should ask them how you could work together to change the schedule depending on the circumstances. Remember, maybe your ex has other children or a job that they must tend to. Remind them that being flexible for your children is in their best interest.
You should always keep proper documentation. If the other party continues to violate the custody order, you should document everything that happens as a sort of paper trail to the court. This could consist of a journal, text, or email. Writing down these things can only help you in the future if nothing changes.
Request mediation when things are not working. Mediation may come in handy if you decide that court is not the best option for either of you. Court can be stressful and expensive and you may not receive the result you were hoping for. You can’t sit there and ask the mediator that they force your ex to show up for custody visits, no. However, you can ask that they please give you a call as a heads up if they are unable to show to avoid disappointment or change of plans. You can ask for a schedule review so that you can make plans with the child accordingly, as in what will work and what will not. In most states, you are able to get changes written down without ever seeing a courtroom.
You can choose to file for contempt. If you have made efforts and attempted to do something about the schedule, the next step is to file for contempt. You must use documentation to show this to the court. When the judge sees that the other party is in contempt, you will be able to request less time so that your child does not have to go through the disappointment every week.
Court can be stressful when dealing with custody matters, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes mediation is a better option when you are unsure of where to turn after you have tried everything else. If you need help with your custody case, call The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes today.