When the terms of your child custody agreement are violated by your co-parent, there are a few steps that you can take to enforce your agreement:
Enforcing a Child Custody Agreement
- Speak directly with your co-parent: One of the first steps you should take to attempt the enforcement of your child custody agreement is to discuss the matter with your co-parent. It may be possible that they are unaware of the violations or that their work schedule has changed in a way that necessitates finding a new schedule that will work best for both of you.
- Contact a child custody enforcement attorney: Gaining the assistance of an experienced legal representative can be extremely beneficial if your spouse has proved intractable when it comes to finding a reasonable solution for your concerns regarding your child custody agreement. Our attorneys at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark will attempt to resolve the matter with a written warning to your co-parent. This will alert them to the fact that not complying with the terms of your agreement can result in legal action being taken. If this does not resolve the issue, our attorneys will assist you in seeking court intervention.
- Keep a written log: Maintaining a log of every incident where your co-parent violated your child custody agreement can benefit you greatly should you choose to go to court to resolve your enforcement issue.
- Modify your child custody agreement: Filing for a child custody modification in instances where one parent’s schedule has changed or their behavior is harming the child will assist you in changing the terms of your agreement to reflect your current circumstances.
- File a motion for contempt: If your co-parent has regularly violated the visitation schedule, you can hold the parent “in contempt” by the courts. Penalties for this range from monetary fines for first-time offenses to revocations of a driver’s license or a professional license to arrest and mandatory jail time in instances of repeated offenses.
- Alert the authorities: When you have hit a wall and need a last resort option, calling the police on a co-parent is an option. It is important to understand that calling the police on a co-parent can negatively impact your working relationship with that co-parent and can potentially damage your relationship with your children. However, if you believe that your co-parent has taken your children across state lines without your permission, alerting the authorities may be your best plan of action. Such an action can be considered a criminal violation.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.