A court order was in place not allowing the children to go to their father and his girlfriend's house. The father drew a gun on the mother and was placed on 2 years probation. The girlfriend has been in jail and a mental institution, because she stole McDonald's payroll. The father had to visit the children in his parents home, supervised. Today the judge had recommended the children can go in the home for overnight visits. She also stated to the mother that this was a recommendation and not a stipulation that the kids could be in the home for visits and around the girl friend. The judge did not order a Child protective service check of the home to see if it was safe. The mother is refusing to let them go. What are her options. Will she be in,contempt?
An order is something that is enforceable and for which you could be held in contempt if you openly disobey that order. A recommendation is not, but the person receiving the recommendation should think long and hard about going against what the judge recommends they do. The judge is giving the party a chance to do the right thing (in the court's eyes). If they don't, that evidence will be noted and might play into the judge's final decision on which parent is most likely to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent -- that's one of the custody factors in Missouri. Usually, judges won't have a lot of control over a third person who is not a party in the case. It could be that you need a guardian ad litem in the case, to investigate any potential harm -- but the parents have to pay the costs of an appointed GAL usually, so you should carefully consider whether there's a real potential for harm.
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