Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
Enforcement Of Custody & Support
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Post-Judgment Enforcement Attorneys In Carlsbad

Enforcement Of Child Custody And Visitation Orders In San Diego County

Court orders regarding custody and visitation of children are created in the best interests of the children and have the force of law. They regulate the custody and visitation plan deemed to be most advantageous to the children and do not necessarily reflect what is most convenient or desirable for the parents. As a result, many parents often find themselves in situations wherein one parent refuses to comply with the child custody orders.

What If One Parent Does Not Follow The Custody And Visitation Court Order?

Information for custodial parents. It is a common misconception that a noncustodial parent is required by law to exercise court-ordered visitation. In fact, court-ordered visitation is a right, not a legal requirement. As such, a custodial parent cannot force a noncustodial parent to exercise his or her parenting time. If one or both parents are unhappy with the noncustodial parent’s current level of involvement, the solution would be for the custodial parent to file a motion to modify visitation to conform to what is actually exercised by the noncustodial parent and then potentially request an increase in child support due to the noncustodial parent’s lack of involvement.

Information for noncustodial parents. When the inverse is true, and the custodial parent is frustrating or not allowing the court-ordered visits with the noncustodial parent to proceed, the custodial parent is technically violating the court order. In this type of situation, the solution may be to file a motion for the court to change custody to the noncustodial parent or to file a contempt action against the custodial parent for willful violation of court orders.

There are two sides to every situation. No matter which one you’re on, Griffith, Young & Lass is here to help. Contact our Carlsbad enforcement lawyers for a consultation: 858-951-1526 or contact us online.

How To Enforce A Custody And Visitation Order In California

If one parent has not been following the custody and visitation order from the court, you have several options.

  • The first and easiest option is to contact your local police department and request that they enforce the order. If this is a new issue, contacting the police is a great place to start, as it may quickly resolve the problem.
  • If the police department’s attempts to enforce the order are not enough, contact a local post-judgment enforcement attorney to review your situation and discuss your options for enforcement.
  • If the problem persists, talk to your attorney about filing an action for “contempt” with the court. Filing a contempt order is a complicated process by which you formally request the court to enforce the order after making a finding that the other parent willfully disobeyed the court.

The process of enforcing a court-ordered custody and visitation judgment can get complicated fast. While we will do everything in our power to keep the process as smooth and peaceful as possible, we recommend that you keep a record of the following to ensure we are backed with the evidence we need should things escalate:

  • A hard copy of your current order. If other people, like grandparents, are involved, they should have a copy of the order as well.
  • A log of any/all visitation violations that have occurred to date. This can be a journal, mark-ups in your calendar, or any other type of written documentation that denotes the dates and times of each violation.
  • Emergency contacts, records of important information pertaining to the other parent (physical description, phone number, Social Security number, bank account information, driver’s license number, etc.), and a written description of your children (age, height, approximate weight, hair color, eye color, etc.).

This last piece of advice may seem drastic, but you must be prepared for the worst. Some child custody and visitation issues escalate to the point of kidnap. While we don’t anticipate this happening regularly, we want to be prepared if and when something should happen. At GYL, our Carlsbad enforcement lawyers are committed to providing you with the best family law services in all of San Diego County.

Facing an emergency enforcement situation? Call us at 858-951-1526 and ask about our same-day and after-hours appointments, or fill out our online contact form here.