Ex won't turn over children


#1

We are divorced and have an order with 50/50 custody. All of a sudden my ex is upset I won’t take one of our children to an activity in the week that I don’t agree with so he is
withholding all the kids and won’t let me see them until I agree. Is the only thing I can do is file motion for contempt? If so it could be months before it is heard (once I file I would have to wait for next calendar all etc) and I won’t get to see my kids for months?


#2

In addition to filing a motion for contempt, you could also explore the use of another type of motion to get back in court more quickly. It really depends on the jurisdiction where your case is pending as to how you should get back into court quickly.


#3

Can you give me an example of what you are referring to. Our custody, ED etc has all been settled. We do have a modification hearing coming up in a 3 weeks though and in a week we have a hearing where they are bringing me in for a contempt that is unrelated (me paying an old debt) and I am addressing a subpoena they ignored for never turning over financial information in regards to the modification hearing that is upcoming. Are you saying I could get some kind of motion where it would be looked at on one of these dates or just filing some other type of motion where it could be heard sooner (and what would that be)? This all is in Meck County.


#4

If you already have hearing dates pending, you should add your motion for contempt on the same date that the modification hearing is set in 3 weeks. That will likely be the earliest you can get into court. If there is a possibility that you will not get reached, you should also let the judge know that he has been withholding the child at calendar call, so that even if the judge doesn’t have a long time to handle your case, he/she can address the visitation going forward until the matter is reset. If your ex then still refuses to let you see the children, you can use the directives of the judge against him/her when you return to court.

The other motions I was referring to would either be a motion for a temporary restraining order or a motion to maintain status quo. You may be able to use one of these to get back into court more quickly than under a regular motion.


#5

Help me understand how a restraining order would be appropriate? So b/c the other parent is withholding the children, then a restraining order is requested against that other parent in regards to the children? Just trying to understand.


#6

Requesting a temporary restraining order is where you ask the court to restrain the party from doing something, or in your case, ordering the party to comply with the visitation. The idea behind a TRO is that the court needs to intervene immediately otherwise the injured party will be irreparably harmed. In child custody cases, withholding could be considered irreparable harm.