Enforcing Child Visitation Rights
UPDATED: February 10, 2020
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If your ex fails to honor a formal court decree setting a child custody agreement that stipulates the time or duration of child visitation, then your ex is in contempt of court and is breaking the law. Ignoring a child custody agreement set in a court decree is a violation of the law, and can result in legal consequences.
Enforcing the Child Visitation Schedule
The first step to enforcing the child visitation schedule is to try talking to your ex. Remind him that the custody agreement is binding and that he must comply with it or that you will need to take legal action to ensure he does. Sometimes, this simple reminder can be enough. If it isn't, then your next step needs to be a phone call to a lawyer.
Your attorney can send a letter, again reminding your ex of the court requirements. Often, even if an initial person-to-person talk didn't work, your ex will shape up and start to comply with the rules once he knows you have a lawyer involved and are serious about enforcing your rights. If your ex still does not comply with the child visitation schedule, then going to court is going to be your only real option for resolving the problem.
Preparing for Child Visitation Court
You should make sure you have as much evidence as you can of what your spouse is doing. Record dates, times and details each time your ex is late. Keep copies of all your efforts to communicate with him about the matter. You can then go back to court and your ex may be held in contempt for violating the court decree. This could mean fines or even jail time, and it will almost always mean a court order compelling your ex to comply with the rules from here on out. In some cases, this behavior on the part of your ex and his refusal to abide by the child custody agreement can also result in an alteration of that agreement in which his visitation is limited or eliminated.
Using Local Law Enforcement to Enforce a Child Visitation Schedule
If are still having trouble getting your ex to follow the court requirements for child visitation, it is possible to get local law enforcement officers to assist you. If your spouse does not deliver your child at the time set in the custody agreement, the police will accompany you to his house to get the child back. Records should also be kept any time it becomes necessary to get the police involved, as these will be very useful to your child custody case in the event that you end up in court over child visitation violations.
In order to enforce a child visitation schedule, consult an experienced divorce lawyer.