The primary custodial parent is known to make excuses for not permitting the father to see the minor child on his weekends when they are permitted to spend time together. False excuses such as the sniffles or a neighbor's birthday party are given. Sometimes the custodial parent will not communicate to the father and refuses to answer her phone or text msg to make arrangements for visitation. By the time communication happens, the weekend is over. HOW does the court deal with uncooperative parents in a custody situation?? Fines?? Penalties?? HOW should the father proceed with this situation to stop the mother from preventing the him from seeing the minor child?? Since this happens on weekends, the law office is closed. WHO should be contacted??
The first step would be to file a parenting time complaint with the Friend of the Court each time parenting time is not allowed. Do this every Monday following a weekend violation. If this is filled out correctly, the FOC will show cause the parent who is violating the court order. If the court finds that the patent didn't have a good reason to deny parenting time, they could certainly fine that parent, and probably order make-up parenting time for the other parent. In cases where one parent denies the other parenting time repeatedly, the court may increase the fines, and/or order jail time.
Also, sometimes it's faster and more effective to hire an attorney to file a show cause on your behalf, instead of relying on the FOC. It would also be a good idea to consult with an attorney about the FOC and judge in your county, and discuss the specific details of your situation. Many attorneys offer free consultations. Good luck.
As a general rule, yes, a custodial parent can be punished if s/he violates a court order. The custodial parent does not get to decide when the children have parenting time with the other parent, even if the children don't feel well or there is something else they would rather do that weekend. If the court order says that dad has parenting time on a given weekend, the mother is in violation if she does not allow dad to have that parenting time.
Which leads to the next question - what should dad do if he does not get his parenting time? There are a couple different options, and the circumstances determine which option is best:
1, Dad could file a parenting time complaint with the Friend of the Court (FOC). This can/should be done every time mom violates the court order. The benefit of this option is that there is no cost. The FOC will evaluate the complaints and will decide whether to pursue legal action on dad's behalf. The downside is that it may take awhile and there is no guarantee the FOC will pursue legal action.
2, Dan can file a motion with the court - either on his own or he can hire a lawyer. The benefit is that a hearing will be scheduled and dad will have his day in court. The downside is that dad will pay a fee to the court for the motion, and he may decide to pay an attorney.
The answer provided above is not intended as legal advice; it is provided for informational purposes only. Please contact an attorney for legal advice.
Follow the steps set forth by Ms. McClure; I would add to that, that the FOC will reject your parenting time violation complaint if you do not go to the mother's home to try to pick up the children as ordered. Keep it conflict free when you go there; you just need to be able to say that you tried to pick up the children, presuming you are ordered to pick up.
If you found my answer helpful or it was the best answer for you, please mark it. Thank you. This is intended as general legal advice and not intended to create an attorney/client relationship.
You should file a motion to show cause in the family court as to why the primary custodial parent is not following the court order of visitation. A pattern of abuse will convince the judge.
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