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Enforcing Child Custody

Family Law Firm Serving Modesto, CA

The issue of child custody is part of a divorce, or could need to be resolved parents who are not married break up and there are children of the relationship. The law in California provides for the basic care of the child by determining which parent the child lives with, visitation rights of the other parent, and other matters. When a court hands down a custody agreement, it is then enforceable by law. Unfortunately, there are times when one ex-spouse does not live up to the agreement as spelled out in the court order. Sometimes it just takes some communication to set things right, but other times it may be necessary to take action.

There are many reasons why someone may violate the provisions, and there are also several options available to the court to enforce them. A Modesto family law attorney can be a great asset in helping you to either get compliance with a custody order, or fight for you if you have been unjustly accused of being in violation.

Examples of Child Custody Violations

Some examples of child custody violations include when an ex-spouse doesn't allow the other former spouse to visit the child. Sometimes this occurs because the visiting parent has not paid child support, or perhaps just due to other issues such as personal discord or conflict. An angry father may decide to take the child out of state without informing the mother, or a mother who takes the child for an extended weekend away, the same weekend the father is planning on his court-approved visitation. These examples are, in fact, against the law, and unfortunately in some cases a contempt action must be filed in order to put a stop the the ongoing behavior. You should consult with a family lawyer who can advise you regarding what your best options are to remedy the situation. 

Options for Custody Enforcement

There are several different options that can be taken by the court to enforce child custody.

  • If a parent is keeping the child in violation of the custody order, the court can issue a writ of habeas corpus, which stipulates that the child must be brought to court and returned to the custodial parent.
  • The court can be petitioned by one parent to modify the custody order. This might include some kind of punishment levied against the offending parent.
  • If there is a problem with the non-custodial parent returning the child as stipulated in the court order, a bond could be required by the court. This measure provides more assurance that the parent will return the child.
  • An action for contempt can be filed with the court. In this action, the court is being asked to see that the custody order is enforced, and also that the court finds that the other parent disobeyed the order intentionally.
  • In some cases, criminal charges could be brought against a parent who violates the custody order.

There are other enforcement solutions as well. A family law attorney can guide you regarding what the best options would be. All decision made by the court regarding custody by the courts are always guided by the best interest of the child.

Our family law attorneys at Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated, serving Modesto, Stockton, and Turlock, are very familiar and experienced in all aspects of family law. We understand how emotional and stressful it can be to break up a relationship and go through a divorce, much less look out for the well being of children. We know how traumatic it can be for the children themselves. Cases of child custody, including child custody modifications and efforts to enforce child custody, can be very complex. We are dedicated to approaching each case as unique, and as such, we fully assess all aspects of a case in order to best resolve all issues as quickly and effectively as possible.

Fees and Payments

Here at Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated, when it comes to fees and payments, we strive to be flexible with clients who are seeking legal representation. We offer payment arrangements, flat fee contracts, and traditional retainer agreements. We understand legal representation is necessary for all, and yet difficult for most to pay the fees all at once. Although we cannot guarantee that everyone will be able to hire us, we do promise to do what we can to make it possible for you to hire one of our attorneys to represent you.