What if the other parent refuses to adhere to the custody order?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | Custody |

When California couples with a child have ended their relationship, the child custody and parenting time order is critical. In many cases, the sides can put their differences aside and focus on the child’s needs and how they can benefit from having parents who are not constantly in dispute. Unfortunately, not all situations are like that.

For parents who have lingering discord and it extends to the custody and parenting time arrangement, it is imperative to know how to address problems as they arise. One that can happen is if a parent is not following the order. Whether it is from the perspective of the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, it is important to remember the available options.

Steps to take if a parent does not follow the custody and parenting time order

The seriousness of the other parent’s behavior will dictate how to proceed. If it is a simple misunderstanding, then a discussion and a clearly detailed schedule could solve it. Of course, this depends on the relationship between the parents. If they are on good terms, it might be easier to settle.

In more contentious cases, the police can be contacted to compel the other parent to follow the order. If a parent thinks the child is being abducted, then the district attorney should be contacted to receive assistance.

When a parent is willfully in violation of the order, the other parent can pursue contempt of court where a judge will be asked to enforce the order and state that the order was disobeyed intentionally. The other parent could face significant ramifications such as jail time, so it is wise to think about this before moving forward.

Finally, it might be wise to consider an update to the order to address any issues that are leading to the failure to follow the order as it stands. This might settle disagreements before they escalate as there could be a specific reason that a parent is not sticking to the order.

Know how to address custody and parenting time disputes

People might be tempted to take matters into their own hands if the other parent is not following the custody and parenting time order. This is a mistake as it can make matters worse.

By knowing the legal alternatives and going step-by-step – provided the child is not in jeopardy – it will be easier to find a solution to the dispute and avoid negatively impacting the child. Regardless of the circumstances, it is wise to know the law and to have a grasp of what can be done to address these complex situations.