Contempt: sexual abuse protection


#1

I have a court order granting joint custody, 1 week on 1 week off. My very young child indicated that she has been molested, initially displaying overly sexualized behavior. I was able to obtain information from her and she demonstrated to me how she is being touched. I filed for emergency temporary custody and stopped allowing the other party to get her. I got a notice stating the emergency custody motion had been denied. Is there something that can be done to address this? I have yet to send the child with the other party and I was informed that there is a contempt motion or order, I was not served with any of the documents or court dates, (my understanding is that they have taken place w/o me). The one that another individual privy to the case told me about is upcoming, they let me read the order stating the findings of fact 1. That I was served and 2. That I am able to comply. And the bottom said something to the effect of if I am found in contempt I can be put in jail until I comply. Am I required to attend that court date as I have yet to be served? And is it lawful or necessary for me to follow an order that would allow my child to be sexually abused?


#2

I can’t make a recommendation about attendance at a court date without reviewing the pleadings and the court file. As it relates to the emergency motion, if you aren’t getting the relief you want directly through the court, you may need to contact child protective services. I prefer to handle these types of issues without involving the agency, but if you have serious concerns about the protection of your child, you need to address it rather than simply withholding visitation.