Contempt Of Court for Parenting Time Violations

As a family law lawyer, I am always surprised how casually some parents take a parenting plan. We hear a lot of stories about the other parent disregarding terms of the parenting plan.  We hear complaints of the other parent returning the children late, failing to return items of clothing, or denying holiday or summer parenting time.   Failure to comply with parenting time orders can carry serious consequences if the other parent takes enforcement action after a willful violation of the parenting plan.  One of the most serious enforcement remedies available for parenting plan violations is “contempt of court.”  Parenting time orders are orders made by the court with the court’s authority.   Willful disobedience of, resistance to, or obstruction of the court’s authority, process, order, or judgment is subject to a contempt motion.  

Private attorneys and parties can bring “remedial” contempt actions for willful parenting plan violations.  A remedial action is the court using its authority to remedy, or fix the non-compliance. A broad range of sanctions are available to get a parent to comply with the parenting plan.  ORS 33.105 specifies what sanctions are available in a contempt action.  Unless there is a contrary statute, the court can impose one or more of the following remedial sanctions:

  1. Payment of a sum of money sufficient to compensate a party for loss, injury or costs suffered by the party as the result of a contempt of court.
  2. Confinement for so long as the contempt continues, or six months, whichever is the shorter period.
  3. An amount not to exceed $500 or one percent of the defendant’s annual gross income, whichever is greater, for each day the contempt of court continues. The sanction imposed under this paragraph may be imposed as a fine or to compensate a party for the effects of the continuing contempt.
  4. An order designed to insure compliance with a prior order of the court, including probation.
  5. Payment of all or part of any attorney fees incurred by a party as the result of a contempt of court.
  6. A sanction other than the sanctions specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection if the court determines that the sanction would be an effective remedy for the contempt.

Basically the court has the power to craft any remedy, including jail, to encourage compliance with a court order. 

Liability for contempt can extend even beyond the parties. Third parties that interfere with parenting time orders may be held accountable through contempt.

What to do to avoid a contempt action? When your case is complete, get and retain a copy of your parenting plan.  Read it.  Know what it says.  If you can, communicate with the other parent about parenting time to make sure you are on the same page.  If you want to change the parenting plan and the other parent agrees, confirm the agreement in writing or email.  Don’t unilaterally disregard the parenting plan. What to do if you are served with a contempt action?  Talk to an experienced family law lawyer and get help.  What to do if the other parent won’t follow the parenting plan? Talk to an experienced family law lawyer about what remedies you may have.

About Sean Stephens

By Sean Stephens Google + Sean Stephens is divorce and family law lawyer, and a founding member of Stephens Margolin P.C. He was born in Eugene, Oregon and is a fourth generation Oregonian. Sean Stephens attended the University of Oregon, and graduated in with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in English Literature. His psychology studies emphasized early childhood development. You can find more about Sean Stephens at Stephens Margolin P.C.
This entry was posted in Child Custody, Enforcement and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

93 Responses to Contempt Of Court for Parenting Time Violations

  1. Stephanie says:

    My ex husband has filed a contempt order against me because I have not followed the parenting plan set forth when our divorce decree took place. Before we divorced I was a stay-at-home-mom; so when we got the divorce and got the plan I was to meet him at 7pm half way for his weekend visitation. That happened for about 9 months; I got a new job that would not allow me to take off work early so I am not 3-1/2 hours late each visitation weekend. So, he has filed the contempt order. I am scared to death. What can happen to me since my employeer will not allow me to take off work? I have to work to support my 2 kids.

  2. Stephanie,

    Talk to an attorney in person right away. The consequences for contempt are potentially severe.

  3. Rebecca says:

    My ex-husband and I have a parenting plan that states that he is not to have any alcohol when our child is with him, as well as awarding me Sole Custody with all major decision making authority (including religious training). Our daughter, now 14, has told me that on multiple occasions, he has stopped at the local liquor store after picking her up on his designated weekends, routinely leaves her with other family or friends on his weekends, telling her that he has ‘other things to do’, and is forcing her to go to his church. During our mediation, I requested that he and his family not be allowed to take her to their church as I do not agree with their religious practices. Per our parenting plan, he is not to have alcohol in his possession when she is with him, as well as the fact that, as being the Sole Custodial parent, I have all major decision authority. Is there anything the court can do in this situation? He is clearly not following the parenting plan that he signed and agreed to and I’m not sure what my options for enforcement are.

    Thanks!

  4. Whenever one of the parents violates the parenting plan, technically legally speaking they can be convicted of being in contempt of court.

  5. Travis says:

    I have a interesting situation, My ex and I went to mediation in January of 2011 and came up with a parenting plan through mediation. With in 4-5 weeks of this agreement my oldest son 15 at the time could not get along with his mother and she “gave him back to me” she could not deal with him. He has been in my care now from then. Part of the mediated agreement stated that all 3 of the kids would stay in the prior school district that hey attended until the completion of high school. What I failed to mention is that we worked out a 50/50 joint custody in mediation. So all three of the children spent half the time with there mother and half the time with me. I have since been remarried and live about 10 miles from there old school. His mother agreed to let him change schools in september and he now attends a new high school and is doing great. In the 11 months he has had 1 over night visit on Thanksgiving in which his mother got so intoxicated she passed out. My two other children which are both girls 13 and 15 have since December 5th have also came to live with me on a full time basis also. My 15 year old daughter has had a VERY hard time getting along with her mother and from July to Sept had also lived with us full time. But now that all the children live with us we need to change them in schools. There mother has filed a Enforcement of Parenting plan with the courts and the court hearing is at the end of this month. I have stack of emails from the mother backing up all the irratic actions that she has taken including a email stating she wants me to take care of the children until she finishes school, gets a job, and gets help for her problems. She gives us no support for the kids and even when they where with her we had to provide almost everything for the girls. All of the kids want nothing to do with there mother anylonger and dont want to see her at all. I am in the process of filing a change of custody order with the courts but am wondering if I should bring the kids to court with me at the end of the month or not. And do I need to file a response with the courts prior to the hearing? Any help would be awesome. Thank you

  6. Generally, bringing kids to court is a bad idea. Most judges think having a child testify for you and against the other parent shows very poor judgment. There are better ways to get a child’s position in front of a judge, including using an expert for a parenting time study, or an attorney for the children.

  7. danielle says:

    so my husband and I have costody of his 2 boys. Their mom has 3 weekends a month for visitation. We gained costody after she was with a abusive man for several years. Our order state that this man is not supposed to be in her home at anytime , even if the children are not there. As this man has several DV cases against him. We found out recently that he has been staying the night over there even when the boys are there. My question is are we in viloation of the visitation agreement if we keep them from going over there? Can we file contempt of court on her?

  8. lisa kravitz says:

    Nine-plus years ago I agreed to allow my then-12-year-old to live with his dad and signed a shared parenting agreement in Ohio allowing me bi-weekly and alternate holiday/b-day visitation. I spent an entire college fund on preventing this from happening, but I wasn’t going to win and my son was very belligerent about living with his dad. This and the fact that I didn’t want him to hate me in the future for not letting him go PLUS other personal considerations made me cave in. For awhile he visited regularly, even though it wasn’t always smooth-sailing. By the ninth grade, visitation dwindled to almost nothing; my phone calls were ignored/not returned for months at a time; and I was treated badly by his dad, my lawyer and Athens County. When I reported this to the lawyer, Tom Eslocker (Athens) and asked if it was illegal, he said, “Not really”. I got papers to file contempt charges, but was asked by the county what I really wanted them to do about a child’s unwillingness to come. They couldn’t very well take him by force. For years, I have watched in depression, sadness, anger, helplessness, horror as that family has marginalized me as a parent. My child has been taught to do the same. It’s inhumane treatment. I was a good parent, not a raging anything. I was really caught up in something beyond myself. My son is now 22; I rarely see him. That’s how it’s been for years. Do I have legal recourse for myself? Can I make a legal difference in the lives of others who have been mistreated by the legal system? Please help me.

  9. Danielle:

    Does the judgment say you can deny parenting time if he is present? Contempt is a good remedy for your situation. I encourage you to call to discuss.

  10. Aria says:

    My fiancee and I were given full custody of his 3 year old daughter and her biological mother was to get an 8 hour visitation a week. She hasn’t seen her duaghter in 3 months all together, and its been a month since the parenting plan was signed by a judged and she hasn’t made any form of contact in a month either….is this contempt of court? Could we get her rights severed?

  11. Michelle Bonner says:

    I have sole custody of my children and my ex would not allow my 13 year old to come home with me after a visit and did not bring him back for 5 days, stating that our son is old enough to make up his mind who he wants to live with. He is already on probation for contempt of court for not paying child support and not serving jail time when he was supposed to. He obviouly has no regard for the authority of any court and never has. He lives life on his own terms and “answers to no one” as he likes to say. He is also teaching this to our son, which worries me enormously. He is unemployed, practically homeless (just evicted from his apt and now living with his sister) and has been in and out of jail repeatedly over the years for various reasons. I want to file contempt and ask the court to order jail time for him, but the instructions for packet 19 says I can’t ask for jail time unless I have an attorney…why is that? Can I also file a restraining order on him, as I am afraid he will come to my house while I’m working and take the kids away?

  12. dj says:

    my x girlfriend keep cutting are keeping my daughter from me we have a parenting plan that said 5pm fri -8pm sun she makes me wait till 6pm to get her and is over to get her anytime on sunday fron 5-6 pm i also have a job that i can not be there to pick my daughter up and text her that my mom will but she won’t let her it does not say i have to be there is she in contempt

  13. Jayson says:

    Hope Im not bringing up a dead post. My ex and I have Shared Custody with 50/50 visitation. For the last 6 months we had a verbal agreement where I was keeping my daughters 7 days a week for schooling and my ex-wife had nowhere suitable for the children to stay at the time. In March our plan changed verbally again so that she could have the children Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, because she had found somewhere to stay. (Recently I found out that the guy she stays with was also accused of molesting my ex-wife’s sister when they were younger.) This went on until last week when she took it upon herself to go back to the divorce decree of 50/50 visitation without talking to me or going through mediation. It has been 8 days since I have seen my daughters and now she refuses to answer my calls and wont tell me where my children are. I am getting them today at 4pm. I hope. What can I do to get my daughters back to at least 5 days a week?

  14. H Brown says:

    Currently the mother of my fiance’s son has custody of him. But for over a year now (the time I’ve know everyone) she has repeatedly failed to have the son where he needs to be for weekday overnight visits, as well as being tardy up to 12 hrs for weekend visits. Also she has just moved 75miles from the son’s father without any written notification to the court or the father. The parenting plan states that she is not to move more than 60miles and that he is to have Tuesday overnight visits. She has not filed for a change in the parenting plan but has stated that once school starts the weekday overnights will not be happening (son is 6 yrs old). Though she recently verbally agreed to meet half way for weekend visits.
    Since the start of the year we have been keeping track of all the times she has not kept to the parenting plan. Also during last December we found out the a year ago now this March she was convicted of a criminal charge, theft. My fiance has talked with his lawyer but all that is recommended is an action to change the parenting plan. And an extremely high bill to go along with it.
    My question is this; with all the information on her recent run in with the law, the moving without consent and the lack to up hold the court order, verses my fiance’s clean criminal background, steady residence for 7 years and re- marriage (July this year), should he instead file contempt on her and seek full custody? Or is it agreed that, as the current lawyer says, he doesn’t have a chance for custody?
    We could really us a second opinion from a legally knowledgeable source!
    H.

    *She allegedly moved for schooling to complete her teaching degree*

  15. Kenny says:

    I hope this is an easy question. Is it considered contempt if I forfeit certain times that I am supposed to get my daughter? I see my daughter every other weekend. I am forfeiting Christmas Eve since I will see her the weekend before and we will be Celebrating over the weekend. And will be unable to get her New Year’s Eve due to money issues. This month is tight on the budget due to Christmas. I was ordered that I have to drive to all pickups and drop offs. I live 52 miles from my daughter so the cost of driving alone is tough at times. My ex says that I’m in contempt if I don’t get her on Christmas Eve and NYE. Thoughts?

  16. ryan says:

    I’ve been trying to file a contempt citation for over a month. I’m my temp hearing he judge ordered no romantic parties. My ex currently has another man living with her.
    After 3 weeks of trying to get my attorney to file a contempt citation, I was finally able to sign the citation and was told that it would be filed that day.
    That was over a week ago…….she stop hasn’t filed it!
    Is there a time frame that she has to file once signed?

  17. James says:

    I am filing for Contempt of Court because the Respondent moved out of state and has refused to give parenting time. The Enforcement of Parenting Time had no effect. Is the $500 per day generally a one time fine, or can it continue until the Respondent complies, and requests it be reduced? I seem to read a one time $500 fine in too many appeal cases.

  18. Kaitlinn says:

    I have had joint custody that was set up and agreed to when my ex and I divorced. He takes the kids every other weekend and has done so for about 10 years now. I have my youngest who lives with me and he has our oldest who lives with him. When we signed the divorce papers we had an agreement that we would alternate holidays. In the past 10 years, I have had the kids for one new years and one 4th of july. this year is my turn to have the kids for the 4th and my ex said no because his family is visiting and its “his week” to have the kids during summer. (we alternate weeks.) Is it right for him to keep the kids with out asking for a holiday even if they were at his place last year for said holiday?

  19. Tina Grover says:

    Have a basic parenting plan with my 9 yr old daughters dad. We were never married. He didn’t see her until she was 2 1/2 when we got back together in 2006. In 2009 we called it quits. He routinely got her every other weekend and usually took her two out of the seven weeks ordered over the summer plus holidays until 2012. Since June 2012 he has had her for 3 nights. He hasn’t asked for her on any of his ordered holidays. He calls about every 2 weeks, but doesn’t ask to speak with her. He has the same custody agreement for his son from another woman and gets him as stated in the parenting. I don’t mind having her all the time. She is old enough to see that he is getting her brother and not her. She doen’t want to go with him. My question is, what can I do to prevent him from say a year or two from now deciding that he wants to get her.

  20. laura says:

    If you have a mediation or court date does your employer have to comply with the date and time?

  21. Stephens Margolin says:

    Unfortunately no.

  22. Stephens Margolin says:

    Tina – Judges are unimpressed with parents that are not consistent in using parenting time. He has legal rights to see her, but you could try to modify the parenting plan to match the visits he’s actually using. Courts can, after proper notice and after a parenting plan has already been entered, lock in parenting time as it has been practiced vs. what’s in the original parenting plan. The order is called a post judgment temporary protective order of restraint, and is temporary during a modification action.

  23. Rachel McMillan says:

    I know this seems petty but my divorce decree says that I am to send clothing and all items necessary for visits and the non custodial parent is to return ALL items. Ive been having a problem with my ex not returning items and I put in place an “inventory list” that is sent each visit under legal advice. He complied for a year up until these last several months. This past visit I was missing clothes again and I sent him an email asking could he please send them back sometime this week and he said “no, he’s not returning them.” Is this ok? Can he refuse if the court order addresses this specifically. I originally sent 6 pair shorts and shirts and he came back with 3 shorts and 3 shirts from his summer visit. Just curious..

  24. Stephens Margolin says:

    Rachel:

    Many parents have a clause in their parenting plan that reads like this:

    “Clothes. Father shall maintain a supply of basic clothing (socks, underwear, shirts, pants, etc.) for the children at his residence. Mother shall provide the children with specialized clothing (coats, sport uniforms, etc.) for the time they are to be with Father. This does not mean that Mother must purchase specialized items at Father’s request. Each parent shall return all clothing that a child came with.”

    If your judgment or parenting plan requires the return of clothes, you could bring the issue to a judge’s attention. If it doesn’t, a court could modify your parenting plan to require the return of clothes.

    C. Sean Stephens

  25. Sabrina says:

    In our divorce decree my ex agreed to pay 250.00 a month for child support. He has violated the decree. The order is not passed through the state it’s in our divorce papers. It’s been 10 years nothing has been paid to me. How can I get it garnished if its not a state order. How can I get back time? What do I need to do to make him comply.

  26. Stephens Margolin says:

    Sabrina:

    I would need more information to know how to help. IF your paperwork provides he pays you directly and you have an enforceable money award, you likely have several different collection remedies available, including garnishment and contempt.

    I don’t understand the question about getting time back. Call our office to book an appointment, or call another lawyer to go over your rights and remedies.

    Sean Stephens, Google +,
    View all posts by author Sean Stephens

  27. Brandi says:

    My ex husband dropped out of my kids’ lives at the end of June of this year. Before that, his visitation was unreliable, he refused to call ahead and confirm, sometimes he was late, sometimes he didn’t show up at all and they were ALWAYS late getting home. After June, however, he never called, not even on birthdays and never once tried to see them. Last week he called me out of the blue and said he wanted to see them. I said he could have them for one night, after I saw where he was living and who he was living with and then we’d take it from there. I agreed to let him have them for Thanksgiving, since it was in our parenting plan that this year was his. This morning, Thanksgiving, he was supposed to be here at 9 and did not show up. We called him and he did not answer. We went ahead with our holiday plans and he called at almost 1pm and wanted to know if he could still come get them. He said he’d “slept in.” I told him no and plan to contact a lawyer tomorrow about changing the parenting time to try and protect my kids from a parent who thinks he can arbitrarily drop in and out of their lives on his schedule. I’m not sure what to do, though, except try to make his visitation at my discretion? How else can I reserve the right to tell him no if he keeps toying with them by not showing up and disappearing?

  28. andrea says:

    My children’s father has a set time to come see the children supervised from 10am until 2 pm. For the last 3 visits he has been late over an hour , can I take him back to court or resolution management to get his visitation cut down or give me sole custody?

  29. Sean Stephens says:

    Andrea:

    Your situation sounds frustrating, and is more common than it should be. Courts won’t use the remedy of contempt of court if a parent fails to use parenting time, or is late to parenting time. If someone fails to use all of their court ordered time, a better approach is to change the parenting plan to match what they actually use. You may be able to get a “status quo” order to lock in the parenting time he’s actually using. I previously blogged about status quo order’s here.

    I think mediation is a good idea to get a more workable plan. I’d have to know more regarding the change of custody, however, being chronically late to pick up your kids is not impressive to a judge.

    Sean Stephens

  30. Diane says:

    can the courts put you in jail for being late bringing my daughter by 10 minutes and blocking my phone because he is texting me at 1 am I got served papers for contempt of court I blocked the phone and forgot to turn it on so he could talk to his daughter what do I do

  31. Sean Stephens says:

    Diane:

    Contempt is a potential remedy when someone is willfully disobeying a court order. Jail time is a potential remedy for contempt, though an extreme one, and courts usually reserve it for the more severe violations, or repeat violators. I haven’t looked at your judgment, but if it specifies a time for the exchange, being late isn’t following the parenting plan. If the parenting plan requires you to have a working phone so the father can call the daughter, blocking him could also be a violation. There may be defenses available to you, but I’d need to see the court order to know. Contempt is very serious, and my strong recommendation is that you schedule an appointment with a lawyer in our office, or any available family law lawyer to go over your court order and the contempt motion.

    By Sean Stephens

  32. Jerry says:

    I have a 50/50 parenting plan and in the plan it states that the parents have full parental rights and SHARED responsibility and are responsible to confer and make major decisions affecting the welfare of the children to include education, healthcare etc.. We have done well in following the plan but have one area of huge disagreement, education. My 13 yo son’s grades have been declining for the past 2 years. We were both somewhat leniant last year thinking it may be the middle school transition but it continues. I have had repeated discussions with him about expectations and accountability and when I try to discuss this issue with her to form some kind of unified front all I get is “you do things your way at your house and I’ll do things my way”. (and I did try to talk to her before him) When I talk to him about it he says she never even brings it up. He has also mentioned that there is very little oversight over there and its too easy to just play Xbox instead of doing homework. I understand that that is his personal responsibility, but he is still a child and will take the easy way out if it’s put in his lap. My question is, How do I get her to discuss this issue and develop a joint academic plan of goals and expectations and a guide of potential corrective action for accountability. It’s not very effective if I restrict video games and she provides unlimited access. I was thinking of requesting mediation. Is this viable? Should I file contempt for failure to confer? Thank you so much for this site.

  33. Stephens Margolin says:

    Joint custody can be ideal for parents and kids who cooperate, and can be frustrating when there’s a disconnect about what’s good for a child. Contempt isn’t a remedy for joint custody problems, as the only thing the court can do if push comes to shove is terminate joint custody and award sole custody to one parent or the other. Mediate first, then if mediation fails, meet with a lawyer face to face and determine if it’s worth moving for sole custody or changing the parenting plan so that more of the homework happens on your time.

    Sean Stephens

  34. Lonnie says:

    I have a obsessed alienator ex wife that ran off with my ex best friend that is a washington state patrol. She married him in 2011 and every since I agreed to give her parental custody she has made my life a living hell when it comes to trying to get my kids. I live out of state and the parenting plans states that I pay for transportation which I have always done. I have always made sure the kids were returned on or before so she would have no issues. I admit I have not been Very stable and I have moved a few different place since 2009 but I have always maintained communication by calling texting or visits but now my ex will not let them call or text or visit. Is she in contempt ?

  35. Stephens Margolin says:

    Lonnie:

    I’d have to look at your specific court order to determine if your parenting time problems could be helped by a contempt motion. There’s a difference between being difficult, and not following the parenting plan. Have there been times where you were entitled to the kids but didn’t receive them?

    Sean Stephens

  36. frusterated step mom says:

    My husbands ex wife is not and will not follow the parenting plan set forth by the courts over 10 years ago. She says the 12 and 14 year old children of my husband get to chose weather they want to come or not (which is a violation of our parenting agreement, as well as publicly slandering my husband constantly which is also a violation or contempt of court order) but she tries to claim it’s the other way around that my husband doesn’t want the kids but this is not the case. Is this worth going to court over? we have proof of all the slander and texts where she straight says she will not make the kids come visit when their ordered time is.

  37. Stephens Margolin says:

    Dear Frustrated:

    It’s difficult to say whether it’s worth going to court over unless I had more information. Generally, my opinion is that court should be saved for high value issues, because the process can be expensive, time consuming, stressful, and unpredictable. That said, 12 and 14 year old kids don’t get to decide if they go for parenting time. An enforcement of parenting time action under ORS 107.434 might help. If the conflict level is very high, your family may benefit from getting a parent coordinator appointed under ORS 107.425. You can find more information about parenting coordinators in my previous article Oregon Parenting Coordinators.

    Sean Stephens

  38. Emily says:

    I have full custody of my daughter and her father gets her T:TH from 1-5. Our court order states that he is to pick her up by 1 and I pick her up from him at 5. Recently he has started sending his grandmother to pick my daughter up. The first time it happened his grandmother told us he was sick and that she had scheduled pictures, so my husband and I let her go, but told the grandmother that we’re not going to make a habit of it. However, when we were both returning to work (not 5 min after his grandmother picking up our daughter) we saw him standing on the corner 3 blocks away. I have since been telling the grandmother that unless her grandson is there to pick up my daughter by 1:10 then he would be giving up his visitation. Am I in contempt of court? He keeps threatening to take me back to court, but the court order says he has to be the one to pick her up.

  39. Stephanie says:

    In 2009, My ex and I went through a huge custody battle and were able to go to counseling, limited case management, etc and ended up putting together a working parenting plan. In 2012, after not having ONE issue (which as super unusual in our case) we became great friends. We had a two days/two day/every other weekend schedule… but due to my ex’s need to travel one week to another state, I decided to work with him and try the week to week schedule… our son (12 at the time) was not thrilled about this situation… but I backed my ex’s request and agreed to the trial of week to week… we have been doing this schedule for awhile now and it worked for the first year… however, after about a year we started to have issues again and now we are back to where we were when we had the need for the custody battle in 2009… My question is, I’d like to return to the orginal parenting plan that is currently set in place but he is fighting it… What do you recommend that I do? Our parenting plan specifically states that my ex is not to involve our son in disputes and for th last year every time he gets angry at me he texts our son, calls our son and tells him all about it. Is that considered contempt? There are also several other things (such as not harrassing me, not making decisions without me, etc) that he has also over the past year started doing again… Could I have a contempt of court case or will I be seen in bad light for also not following the plan as intended by allowing him to have our son week to week rather than the schedule set forth in court?

  40. John Gaffney says:

    My 17 1/2 year old daughters mother agreed verbally and in a text that she could come live with me for her Senior year. She was just served child support papers asking her to sign if my daughter was living here. She said yes, temporarily. Child support then notified her that she would not be getting our daughters child support as long as she is living here. She has been here 3 weeks and now my x says I have to continue paying the money or make my daughter go back. My daughter is refusing and I dont want her to have to. Do I have any rights or is this contempt of court? Thank you for any advice.

  41. Stephens Margolin says:

    John:

    A hard situation, and you do have rights, thought contempt is probably not the right tool. A better plan would be to file a post judgment status quo motion asking to freeze the parenting plan as it’s being practoced with your daughter residing with you, move to modify the parenting plan to reflect that she lives with you, and move to terminate or modify child support. It’s problematic because your daughter is only a minor for 6 more months.

    Sean Stephens

  42. Lora says:

    My sons ex girlfriend is keeping his 18 month old baby girl from him because they broke up. He hasn’t seen her in about 3 weeks, which is long for him because before that he had her 50/50 since she was 4 months old and before that the two lived together so he was with her everyday. So going three weeks without her seems like forever. Anyways he got a lawyer and the lawyer filed a status quo showing the judge that he has had the baby 50/50 the judge signed it so the next step was to get a right of assist to have a sheriff go with myself to pick the baby up so that the 50/50 would be put back in place until the court date or a mediation. Well she lives in Washington county and the judge would not sign it because they won’t interfere unless there is a custody agreement in place. So I went to her house to see if she would give me the baby and she said no. So now she isn’t following what the judge told her to do and my son now has to have his lawyer file for a temp full custody of the baby since she violated the status quo. Can she get in trouble for not following the orders of the status quo. Thanks.

  43. Stephens Margolin says:

    If there is a status quo order, or a temporary protective order of restraint in place, you can use enforcement motions such as contempt to try to get the opposing party to comply with the order. However, it sounds like you hit on a common misinterpretation of the status quo / temporary protective order statute. You can’t use one to get an order of assistance to have a child returned unless you have custody in a court document.

    Sean Stephens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>