Violation of Court Ordered Custody Agreement


I do apologize if this not the correct forum for my question. This is my first time attempting to seek help in this manner.

My former wife and I have court ordered joint legal custody of our two children (son 11, daughter 6). She has primary physical custody.

I was to have had my children this last Christmas holiday. When I arrived to pick up my children she began to question me about where we would be attending church the day after Christmas. I explained to her that we would be attending services at our old congregation. We left our old congregation under some very stressful circumstances and I have only returned now 11 years later to reconnect with my original church when I first moved to NC 13 years ago.

When I told my ex where we going she began to yell and swear in front of the children saying that she was not about to allow me to take our children to our old church.

I explained to her that we had joint legal custody and that she did not have the right to tell me where I was allowed to take my children to church. This made no headway with her what so ever.

She stated that she and her husband would meet me to pick them up Sunday morning and take them to church with them. I was not due to bring them back until that Monday afternoon.

I stated that this was not acceptable. I would take them for my full week as agreed and take them to church where I saw fit and bring them back on the date agreed upon a month before. She stated that if I did try to take them to my old church that she would show up at church and take them from me.

At this point I made the decision to take a stand, I told her that I would either take the children for the full week or I would not take them at all. This statement enraged her even more so.

I accept the fact that this decision could be seen as more of a punishment to my children than anything else.

Over the last 3.5 years since our separation and divorce I have stood by and let a number of instances slide time after time. Most notably, she made the decision to home school our son without my having any input or say in the matter. It is very clearly stated in the custody agreement that I do have an equal say in all matters pertaining to my children’s education.

Another example; at the age of 10 my son was given a BB gun without my input, at the age of 11 he was given a cell phone without my input……an 11 year old boy that is with his mother 24/7 does not need a cell phone.

I realize the last two items may be viewed as minor concerns. For me they are all part of an emerging trend. The decision that I made was out of frustration……

Today I was to pick up my children for this was my weekend. 15 minutes past the appointed time my ex was a no show. I called and she did not answer. 5 minutes later she sent me an email stating:

“I have filed a motion to go back to mediation to determine the best interest for the children regarding visitation. You should have been served by now, but if not, you will be soon. It is not in the best interest of their mental health and wellbeing to spend time with you until this is resolved, as they are still quite upset at outcome of the last scheduled visitation.”

What can I do to take her back to court to get her in front of a judge to explain to her that she is in contempt of the original court ordered custody agreement?

I am very concerned about the influence that my ex has on my children regarding church attendance.

Thank you for taking the time to review and respond.


File a motion for contempt. She cannot withhold the children from you regardless of whether she has filed a motion to modify custody.