When Should You Bring Violations of Custody or Visitation Arrangements to the Court’s Attention?

Life is full of things that you could complain about. Poor customer service, bad drivers, people not doing what they are supposed to be doing. But, not every slight, needs to be elevated to the point where you’re asking to speak to a supervisor or lodge a formal complaint.

After a divorce, the logistics of child custody and visitation schedules can be challenging.. When your former spouse violates or fails to meet their obligations under the terms of the custody and visitation order, when should you bring those violations to the attention of the judge in your New York divorce case?

Violations of court-ordered custody and visitation schedules are no small matter. Your spouse could be held in contempt of court and fined, imprisoned or both for failing to comply with the terms of a family law judge’s order. If you file a motion with the court alerting the judge to the alleged violations, your spouse will need to appear in court and either prove to the judge that the order has been complied with or show  “good cause” why they have violated the order.

The thing is, your ex will only be found in contempt if the judge concludes that your ex “willfully” violated the order; that is, he or she purposefully set out to disobey the order or intentionally ignored it. As such, you should be judicious in deciding to run to the court to complain. While judge’s definitely do not like having their orders violated, neither do they like having their time taken up by relatively small matters that could perhaps be resolved without court intervention. For example, failing to return a child after visitation is a serious violation of an Order, but delivering the child an hour late may not be.

Of course, if there is an ongoing pattern of violations or it is clear that your former spouse is deliberately attempting to harass you by being uncooperative in facilitating custody and visitation, by all means advise your divorce lawyer so the two of you can determine the appropriate and most productive course of action.

Daniel Clement:  Experienced New York and New Jersey Divorce Lawyer

At Clement Law, we provide with you experienced and effective representation in your divorce and family law matters. We guide our clients through divorce and help them achieve results that protect their family, and their family’s future, after the divorce.

Contact us or call (212) 683-9551 to arrange for a consultation. We look forward to helping you.

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