Let’s say you have gotten through a contentious divorce, where each of you agreed to the custody arrangement and parenting time schedule ordered by the court. However, since the divorce has been finalized, you have been growing increasingly frustrated by the fact that your former spouse refuses to comply with the custody order.
Child custody orders have the force of law, and if your ex keeps willfully violating them, you do have a legal recourse. Here are some examples of things that can constitute a violation:
- Keeping the child overnight when the court did not give them permission for overnight visits
- Scheduling last-minute trips that infringe on your parenting time
- Failing to show up to pick the child up for their scheduled parenting time, or they keep the child for longer than agreed upon.
- Making disparaging remarks to you in the child’s presence.
With all of this disruptive behavior going on, it can create a lot of stress. If you are in a situation where your ex refuses to follow the custody orders there are a few things that you can do to rectify the situation.
Options for dealing with a parent who will not comply with a child custody order
The first step a parent might take if the other parent’s violation of the custody order is causing a serious problem is to have an experienced Knoxville family law attorney send your ex a letter that informs them of how their actions have been in violation of a court order, and the serious consequences of their behavior.
- If your attorney’s letter did not inspire them to change their behavior, you can petition the court to request enforcement of the order.
- If the court finds the parent who violated the order in contempt, they could face jail time
- The court can also order the parent who violated the order to pay the non-violating parent’s legal fees.
If your co-parent’s habit of playing fast and loose with the existing custody order and it is disrupting your life, begin by documenting each time they show up and pick up your child when it is not their time, keeps the child beyond their allotted time or any other disruptive behavior that violates the custody order make a note of the date and the circumstances. Do not attempt to take the situation in your own hands in retaliation against them. Do not speak ill of the other parent in the child’s presence regardless of how irresponsible their behavior. Finally, do not get the courts involved if it is just a minor or occasional infraction.
A knowledgeable Knoxville divorce attorney from the law firm of LaFevor & Slaughter is ready to protect your custody rights and make sure that your child gets the chance to spend time with each parent according to the child custody agreement.
At the Law Offices of LaFevor & Slaughter, we are here to be your advocate in a child custody dispute. You are welcome to call us at 865-637-6258 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your custody case and get your questions answered today with an experienced Knoxville divorce attorney.
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As the Managing Attorney with LaFevor & Slaughter, Jason R. Hines handles new client consultations, strategic planning and implementation and represents clients in all the Firm’s practice areas.
As an attorney practicing law in Tennessee since 2009, Jason has represented clients from all walks of life in a wide range of cases in the State and Federal Courts of Tennessee. His practice areas include divorce, family law and immigration.