Child Custody


I am sure Janet will respond soon but I wanted to tell you that we got bit by this one:

My husband and his ex had a Separation Agreement that was very specific. But sometimes his ex would just say “No, you can’t have the kids”. There wasn’t anything be could do because all they had was a Separation Agreement which the officers cannot enforce.

Now, we have a court order for custody and visitation. The ex-wife tried to keep the oldest daughter from her scheduled visitation last June. My husband, and a sheriff, went to the house to pick her up. Here in Wake County we were told that it is based on the officer’s personal discretion and it is based on how busy they are. In our case, the officer agreed to go over there and help the ex-wife understand the implications of being in contempt of court. We haven’t had any problems since with our daughter or her mother. It did take a bunch of phone calls to figure out who’s jurisdiction it was (local police vs county).

Good luck!


Dear Trippp and kmchaos:

Greetings. Karen is correct on this one. If you have a separation agreement and you are denied your time with the children as specified in the agreement, your remedies are to either file a child custody action (the method I recommend most) or to file a claim for breach of contract. Only with an order can you ensure that you can pick up your children when you are supposed to (and you must make sure that the court order is drafted to allow the local law enforcement officer to assist you). Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


I have an executed separation agreement that has defined the days that my spouse and I have the kids. Does either spouse have the right to deny (for any reason) the other their alloted time with the kids? If I am denied access, is that considered contempt on my ex? Would I need an officer to accompany me to get the kids on the days that I’m suppose to have them?