What Happens When a Parent Violates the Visitation Schedule?

What Happens When a Parent Violates the Visitation Schedule?

After splitting with your ex, you’re looking forward to what’s next; however, you still want to be an important part of your child’s life. After hours of debating, you and your ex finally hashed out a visitation schedule that was approved by a California court.

However, as you look back on the past few months, it’s apparent your ex has no intention of following the visitation schedule you both agreed on. You want your ex to follow the court-mandated visitation schedule, so what happens now?

Your Options When an Ex Is Breaking Your Visitation Schedule

As stated on this California Courts webpage, you have a couple of options to choose from when dealing with an ex who’s breaking your visitation schedule. If the ex won’t give you your kids during your visit time, you may want to contact your local police department and ask them to enforce the order.

Contact the Police Department

If the police are willing to enforce the order, they may call and ask your ex to bring your child to your regular point of contact. In other circumstances, an officer may escort you to pick up your child from your ex.

However, police aren’t always willing to get tangled up in personal family matters; and police enforcement isn’t a permanent fix to the problem.

File an Action with the Court

While police technically have the power to enforce a custody order, they will sometimes say it isn’t their problem. Either way, when this happens, you may choose to file an Emergency Ex Parte action for “contempt” with the court. Depending on the situation, you may want to get into court quickly and not file a regular action that can take months to be heard on. An emergency hearing is heard within a day or two but, their needs to be an emergency. Definitely not, "John was 10 minutes late bringing the kids home."

In contempt actions, you ask the court to enforce the order and make a finding that the other parent willfully disobeyed the visitation schedule. After listening to the case, the court may enforce the order, will possibly amend the visitation schedule, and in more severe scenarios, your ex could face legal penalties.

A Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you’re sick of your ex violating your visitation schedule, the next step is to talk to a knowledgeable and experienced California child custody attorney about your case. An attorney can help you accurately document instances of your ex’s violations, helping the court see the truth in your case.

Call (619) 304-8499 now for a free consultation concerning your child custody case!

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