No contact with children

Is there anything written into your separation agreement that states that you need to be notified if she moves? Consider filing for change of custody.

No, but in a hearing where I was trying to get my support adjusted, the Judge told her she was to make sure I had their current address, phone number, and I be allowed to contact the kids in the future. This was 4 years ago and the county states that they destroy the tapes from the hearings (thus no transcripts are available) after 2 1/2 years.

Dear hawkman:

Yes, file BOTH the Motion to Show Cause and a Motion for Emergency Custody asking for the children to be given to you. I would also include a Motion to Modify Custody if I were you. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
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

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
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.

What does a motion to show cause do??

There are two different procedures under which civil contempt proceedings may be initiated against a person alleged to be in non-compliance with a court order.

The first method requires that a “show cause” motion be filed with the court. In your motion, you make allegations that someone is in violation of the order. You basically try to convince a judge - in your written show cause motion - that the order in question is not being obeyed. If the judge agrees, he will issue an order which requires the alleged contemnor to appear in court at date and time ‘x’ and show cause why he/she is not in violation of the order, and thus should not be held in contempt of court. In contempt proceedings of this type, the person ordered to appear is presumed to be in contempt of the order. The burden is on this person to convince the court that he is not in contempt.

Note that by their very nature, show cause motions are ex parte motions. This means that the judge will rule on the motion based only on the contents of the motion and whatever knowledge he may have of the case. He will not conduct a hearing or take evidence prior to ruling on the motion.

The second method to initiate contempt proceedings does not require that a judge issue a show cause order. Pursuant to NCGS 5A-23(a1), an aggrieved party may file a motion notifying the alleged contemnor to appear in court at date and time ‘y’ for a contempt hearing. The motion must contain reasons why the alleged contemnor should be held in contempt. This motion does not have to be allowed/granted by the judge prior to the contempt hearing. But, contrary to method #1, the presumption in hearings of this type is that the alleged contemnor is not in contempt of court. The party that filed the motion carries the burden of proof. See also Trivette v. Trivette (2004, NC COA, … 0175-1.htm).

So, if method #1 fails because the judge won’t issue a show cause order, you could always try method #2. Of course, it is less likely use of method #2 will result in a contempt holding, but it’s there if you need it.

Thanks for the information. My daughter secretly e-mailed me their address and phone number last night. So, after 3 months of no contact, I finally got to talk with them.

That is wonderful news, hawkman. [:D] Hopefully, soon you can get this straightened out and get to at least see your children on a regular basis. If your daughter e-mailed you then at least you know that they want to contact you and they understand the situation. That’s a big step. Good Luck

You are one of the lucky ones. Keep hoping and dont get caught with your arms down, as it happened to me.

This is what I am hoping to get, that my kids would understand that their mom is not doing the right thing, but they are still too young, ages 7 and 9.

I pray every day for justice, but justice for me is coming as snail in a sidewalk.

My ex has moved again, ( the 6th or 7th time in 5 years) and I have been unable to contact my children for the past two months either by e-mail, phone (the phone she set up in my Daughters name has been disconnected since September), or mail. Do I have any recourse other than filing contempt of court charges against her? I don’t have an attorney, any information would be helpful.