Force Custodial parent to comply

Yes, she can be charged with contempt since you have a court order. The judge can “remind” her that the court order for custody visitations needs to be followed. You could probably contact the magistrate or clerk of court to see what your next step should be.
The next time that the police are involved, show them the court order. The police should be able to enforce it then, I would think regardless of whether or not they are inside the house.

Stepmother & kateyoung,

When my husband went to pick up his daughter from the mother (and he is the Primary Custodial Parent) we called the sherriff’s dept and police ahead of time. We knew the mom would make a big scene and wanted to know if they would assist in getting the daughter from the house.
They said they do not get involved in custody stuff like this because it is considered a civil dispute and not breaking their laws. The only thing they could do was accompany him to to the house and hang around, because sometimes the mere presence of authority would make her more likely to turn the child over. However, they wouldn’t be able to intervene if she didn’t let the child out of the house…

The only time they would get involved is if the judge issued something directly ordering the parent to comply or face arrest. At least, that’s what we were told by the Deputy Sherriff in Jacksonville, NC. The recourse would be to take her to court on contempt charges for the violations of the order.

I wonder why being outside the house makes a difference on a court order? Most court orders are not written to read that the non-custodial parent has visitation such & such day except when the child/children are inside the custodial parent’s home…
If the children are outside the home, can police then enforce a court order? I’ll admit that I’m not the most intelligent person out there, but this just doesn’t sound right…
Mathkittycat - contact the courthouse and find out how to get the court order followed or how to bring contempt charges against her…I admit I have had no experience with contempt cases so maybe an attorney will respond.

If one parent is not complying with the court order you will need to file a Motion to show cause and ask the court to enforce the order.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


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.

How do you force a custodial parent to comply with the court order for visitation? One time she called the police when my husband went to pick up the kids on a weekend we were supposed to have them, and now she is planning things for them on our weekends. Can you go to a magistrate and have her charged with contempt? When the police came they said as longs as the kids were in the house they couldn’t make them go with him.