Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’ve been looking at what it means to be in contempt of court, and what your options are when your ex doesn’t honor a court-ordered visitation schedule. In the previous article, we looked at why it’s so important to follow court orders to the letter, and what your first step should be when your ex doesn’t follow the visitation schedule. Moving on we’d like to look what your next step should be, and why…
Documentation is important when you’re trying to prove visitation issues.
If your ex misses the occasional visit because of work or returns the kids a little late once in a while because something legitimate came up, we recommend you be flexible. Starting fights over issues that happen rarely, or can’t be controlled doesn’t make sense. But if it’s happening often, and you’ve tried to discuss it with them and they don’t seem to think it’s a big deal, you need to start documenting it. Keep track of how often they arrive late, or don’t arrive at all. Write down the times and dates, and if they give you excuses, write those down too. You’ll need to prove to the court that this is an ongoing issue.
Talk to your attorney, because they can help you with the next steps
You need to sit down with your attorney and discuss what your options are. Your attorney may suggest that you write a warning letter (or they might write it on your behalf) letting your ex know that they are in violation of a court order and that you expect them to fix it. This may include giving them a period of time, or a deadline in which to change their behavior. Making an effort to address the issue outside of court first usually looks better to a judge, as it tells the court you’re genuinely trying to solve a problem and not just get your ex into trouble.
How will your lawyer prove to the court that your ex is in violation?
As we mentioned before, for someone to be in violation of a court order, they had to know about the order and choose to disregard it anyway. So in order for your attorney to prove to the court that your ex is in violation, they’re going to have to prove three things:
- That your ex knew about the visitation order,
- That they had the ability to comply with the terms and conditions of the order, but knowingly chose not to, and
- That they don’t have any valid excuses for the violations
If you and your attorney can prove to the court that your ex is in violation, they may be given a window of time in which to correct the behavior. Or they might be fined, or even lose their visitation rights.
The Kronzek Firm can help you with your visitation and custody concerns
Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced family law attorneys have handled countless divorces over the years. We’ve helped many people figure out what custody and visitation schedules work best for their lives, and also helped them readdress those issues when problems come up along the way. If you need help with any aspect of your divorce, call us at 866 766 5245 today and make sure you have a highly respected divorce team on your side, protecting your rights and your future.