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-judgement 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 judgement 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. If you’re facing an emergency enforcement situation, call us at (858) 371-5569 and ask about our same-day and after-hours appointments. We can also be reached via our online contact form here.