When the court awards physical custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other following a divorce, it is important that both parties adhere to this ruling. A violation of the custody and visitation order, like any other court order, can result in serious consequences.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the non-custodial parent to fail to return the child on time. Of course, an occasional delay of five or ten minutes thanks to heavy traffic can be excusable. But what happens if the perpetrator’s action is premeditated?
Here are the steps you can take if your ex is violating their visitation rights:
Put your evidence together
The family court takes custody orders very seriously. As such, one of the first steps you need to take if your ex is violating their visitation rights is to create a journal of the specifics, with all the important details. In your journal be sure to include the following:
- The dates they returned the child late
- Evidence of your communication with them regarding this behavior
- Names and contacts of any witnesses
This information is critical for proving your case should the matter end in court, so be sure to take it seriously.
Ask the court to step in
Depending on the circumstances and the gravity of the matter, interference with the custody order is a punishable offense. If the situation continues, you may have to ask the court to intervene.
If you can prove that your ex kept the child against the custody and visitation order, they may lose their visitation rights. The court may also hold them in contempt.
When the family court pronounces a custody and visitation order, it does so with an understanding that the ruling will serve in the child’s best interest. As such, if your ex violates this order, it is important that you take appropriate steps to protect your rights as well as your child’s interests.