My spouse and I are separated and agreed to a custody arrangement through mediation. My ex sent me a letter through his attorney stating that I violated a part of the custody arrangment by not transporting our sons to their scheduled activites during my scheduled summer week with our children. The consent order states that we should transport the kids to their scheduled activities if the custodial parent is not out-of town. Here is my concern, the consent order does not state that I should transport the children to the scheduled that are organized by my ex-spouse. During my week with our sons, they were scheduled to attend week long activities at our church. They have attend these activities consistently since our legal separation in 2011. I was sent a letter ny his attorney today stating that if I do not transport them in the future they will file a motion to modify the custody arrangement. Another concern I have is that these young boys are invloved in year around sports in which I transport them to the majority of the time. I am not given sufficient notice of these activities and the boys ages 6 and 10 are unable to participate in activities that they enjoy outside of sports. My ex has not adhere to several parts of the consent order so I am not sure why he would try to threaten me with future court proceededings if he is in violation of the court order. The letter does not request me to respond. I just think this is an attempt to scare me. What is your advice at this time?
I would need to read the order and the letter to give you complete advice, but the determination of whether a party is in contempt is a two part analysis. First, whether there was a violation and whether that violation was willful. If you didn’t receive the information about the activities in time to arrange transportation or your schedule, you may have an argument that your violation is not willful. I would also consider filing a motion for clarification of some sort to define “scheduled activities” as “mutually agreed upon scheduled activities.” Without clarification, he could sign the children up for activities that are quite far from your residence during your time, and you would be required to transport them.