Violation of Consent Order


#1

We have a consent order in place that we signed and agreed to in September 2012. It specifically states:

Unless the parties otherwise agree in writing “new estranged wife” shall not be present
during any visitation. If law enforcement find the minor child in the presence of “new estranged wife” during visitation, they shall physically remove the child from the physical custody of the person having the child and return the child to Defendant; the visitation shall terminate upon the removal of the child from the person; in the event that Plaintiff and his wife attempt to reconcile, Plaintiff must first seek the Court’s approval to have the child in the presence of his estranged wife.

I removed her name for privacy reasons.

In the last few weeks my child has been coming home stating that he has two mommies and that his other mommy hides in the closet. At first because he is little I thought he was just pretending he likes to pretend about other things so its hard to determine what is real and whats pretend. After further investigation and my ex’s own admitting he and his estranged wife are back together. She has been sleeping at his house with her daughter who shares a room with our son. He stated that they have gone to counseling and are no longer fighting that things are better than they ever have been. I am worried that they are just back in the honeymoon phase of the domestic violence cycle. The reason for the initial clause was due to a domestic violence order that she took out against him that stated he put a gun to her head and slammed her into a car, cut her eye, hit her etc. she never showed up to court to pursue a final order. Their relationship was very volatile and he has admitted that to me. He opted not to go to before a judge and settle on a consent order because he was afraid these things would come out and potentially be damaging to his career. He wants me to agree to sign a paper saying she can be around our son and I don’t feel comfortable taking him on his word that things are better. He has been violating the court order for weeks now and I feel that he should have a burden of proof to the court that things are in fact better and that they have attended some type of domestic violence classes not just marital counseling before my son be put back into that environment.

I guess what I am asking is can I withhold visitation if I know she is living there again or do I have to allow him to pick him up and then call the police and have him removed and given back to me and how many times do we have to go through calling the police before going back to court. He is in law enforcement and knows better than to violate a court order. He’s walking on very thin ice already with having a DVPO Complaint placed against him. I was thinking of suggesting that we temporarily suspend visitation until this is resolved so that he is not in contempt of court but I am not sure how well he will receive that and I don’t want to make matters worse. I also don’t want to contribute to allowing my child to be put in a potential unsafe environment. If they really are working things out trying to do the right thing then I will support that but my utmost concern is for the safety and well being of our child.


#2

It sounds like he is in violation of the order, so you should immediately file a motion for order to appear and show cause for his violation. Whether you are then warranted in withholding visitation which would put yourself in a position of being accused of violating the order is a delicate question. If you can come to an arrangement with him, and put it in writing, that would be best. If not, you should speak with an attorney in your area to determine the best course of action.