When a former spouse fails to follow family court orders the consequences against them can be severe. Family court orders often pertain to child custody and visitation standards. We have outlined the penalties for ignoring child custody orders below.

What is Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody means that person or spouse has legal guardianship over a child. Legal guardians will typically have physical supervision of a child and can make decisions for them when it comes to health and legal matters.

Child visitation is the right of a spouse without guardianship to spend time with and visit their child. Visitation rights can not be denied without prior consent of the court.

What to do with Family Court Order has been Ignored?

court house for divorce casesParents will typically violate a visitation order by keeping a child for too long or neglecting to pick up a child at the time predetermined by both parents. Depending on the severity of the infraction some options for a spouse are

  1. Contact the police. Reaching out to the authorities is an option if you fail to resolve issues with your former spouse on your own.
  2. Call your attorney. It is important to maintain a professional relationship with your divorce attorney specifically for incidences when court orders have been violated by your ex-spouse. They have intimate knowledge of your particular case and can be an asset moving forward.
  3. File a motion to the court. With your attorney’s help, you can file a motion for contempt of court if your spouse consistently shirks the orders outlined in your divorce settlement. You can also request you attorney’s fees and other costs when filing this motion.

What are the consequences for violating a family court order?

Violating a court order may result in harsh consequences outlined below.

  1. Non-violating parents can petition the court to legally enforce the court order.
  2. Violating parents may need to appear in court and explain the reasons for violating the court order.
  3. The court could find the violating parent in contempt of court resulting in jail time.
  4. Violating parents may even lose custody rights previously granted by the court.

In conclusion, it is absolutely paramount that you adhere to the agreements made during your divorce proceedings.