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What to Do When the Parent in Custody Is Not Compliant with Visitation Times

If a judge rules on an order regarding child custody and visitation between the custodial and the non-custodial parents, that order becomes enforceable by law. If the custodial parent does not follow the court ordered custody and visitation order, the situation can be frustrating and emotional for everyone involved. Fortunately, New York child custody laws provide several options to the non-custodial parent to ensure the custodial parent remains compliant. In many cases, it is imperative to seek the assistance of New York family law attorneys to settle differences between the parents.

Syracuse Divorce Lawyer

When a custodial parent refuses to follow a court-ordered custody and visitation ruling, the non-custodial parent can:

  • Contact the local police department; they should enforce the order;
  • Contact the county’s district attorney; or
  • File a “contempt” action with the family court in which the custody and visitation order was ruled on.

In a contempt filing, you request enforcement of the order by the court and report the other parent for willfully violating the order. This type of action can become complicated and result in severe ramifications for the parent disobeying the order. You should have a lawyer if you have to take this route.

There are important steps you should take to protect your rights and the rights of your child in the meantime. It is crucial that you:

  • Keep a copy of the custody and visitation order in a safe place. Anyone else involved in the visitation schedule, those people should keep a copy, as well.
  • Make sure that your court order has stipulated clear details about the visitation schedule. Any holidays, birthdays, school vacations, and other important dates should be specifically defined to avoid any future complications.
  • If any significant changes are agreed upon between you and the other parent, be sure to obtain a new court order to legally record the modifications.

The court has already determined what is in the best interest of your child, including where the child should live, where he or she should attend school, who will provide the medical care, when – and often where – the parents will exchange your child for visitation, and other vital factors in your child’s life. Custodial parents cannot take the law into their own hands and decide to amend the custody order to their liking or convenience whenever they desire. They must abide by the stipulations in the court ordered custody and visitation agreement.

We Are Here To Help

Unfortunately, enforcing that court order and making sure the custodial parent remains compliant can be quite complicated, but you deserve to spend time with your child or children. Reach out to a New York family law attorney to find out what is best for your case. The law offices Richard Bombardo can help you in Syracuse at (315) 488-5544 if you are experiencing difficulty with a custodial parent who will not obey the court order.  

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