Can you have your child’s other parent held in contempt?

| May 17, 2021 | Child Custody |

Is your child’s other parent refusing to abide by an existing court order on child custody or visitation? If so, then we know the frustration you must be feeling. After all, disregard for a court order not only invalidates all the hard work you put in negotiating or litigating the ultimate resolution in your case, but it also threatens to disrupt your relationship with your child. Such outcomes are unacceptable, which is why if you’re in this situation you may want to consider attempting to have your child’s other parent held in contempt.

Motion for rule to show cause

Your first step in this situation is to file a motion for rule to show cause. Essentially, this is a request for the court to issue an order demanding that the other parent appear in court to show why they shouldn’t be held in contempt. When you file this motion, you need to be very detailed about which order has been violated, how and when it was violated, and why the violation is a willful disregard of the court’s order.

Penalties for contempt

If, after a hearing on the motion for rule to show cause, the other parent fails to demonstrate why they shouldn’t be held in contempt, then the court will find them in contempt an impose one of a number of penalties. The most common penalties for civil contempt are fines and jail time, but the ultimate goal is to obtain compliance with the court’s initial order. Fines and jail time can certainly go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Considering modification

If your child’s other parent can’t abide by an existing court order, then it might be time to consider modifying that order. Whether this means seeking less restrictive parenting time, suspending parenting time altogether, or seeking a change in physical and/or legal child custody, you need to know how to build your arguments. So, if you’re dealing with a non-compliant parent and want to put your child custody case back on course, consider speaking with an attorney who can help you aggressively advocate for a fair and just outcome.