Violation of Custody Order


#1

I believe your options would be to go back to court to modify custody and visitations since you believe he is not following the order to the letter…
I have a couple of questions about this…
One, how old is your daughter? Two, what is your custody arrangement (Joint, primary)?
To me it would depend greatly on these two things. If you share custody of a 13 year old is a different situation than if you have primary custody of a 5 year old. If her father’s job requires that he spend his visitations away from her, then maybe you and he should sit down and come up with a different schedule. My suggestion is the same though for either situation…find out if you and the ex can come up with a schedule that works for you both.
My opinion of you going to the ex’s residence and taking your daughter because you “know” he has been gone and his girlfriend is watching her, is spending a little too much time worrying about something you can’t control. Why is it such an issue for him to leave her with someone due to work? Can you not rearrange the schedule so that he can have his visitations when he doesn’t work?
Just my opinion, but it sounds as though you have a problem with his girlfriend watching your daughter than trying to work out something with your ex so that he gets to see his daughter…
Ultimately, you two have to raise this child together and the best scenario is to work together. Depending on how ugly the original custody was, will depend on how much your ex is willing to admit to anything. You have the power to let some of this go and not cause problems. Yes, he would be in contempt of court for not following the order if you can prove it or he admits it, but to what end? Is this issue really worth fighting over?


#2

If your ex is not following the custody order then you can file a motion and order to show cause and ask the court to enforce the order as written. It is always difficult to enforce a right of first refusal provision in the Agreement because it is hard to prove.

If you believe that your ex will eventually marry this woman then you might want to decide if this is a road you want to go down, when and if they get married, the court will probably say it is fine for your daughter to be left with this person.

Have you tried speaking to your ex about this to see if you can work out a compromise. I think a court would find one overnight reasonable, but not an entire weekend.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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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.


#3

I have just found out that my ex is in violation of our custody order. Our custody order clearly states that “when and if Plaintiff or Defendant have obligations that require a baby sitter for the minor child for a period of four hours or longer, then he or she shall call the other part and offer him or her the first opportunity to come and pick up and later return the minor child to the part needing the babysitter.”

It turns out that he is currently working out of state and on the weekends that he is supposed to have our daughter, he leaves to return to work out of state on Sunday afternoon, leaving our daughter with his girlfriend overnight. He has also left her with his girlfriend for an entire weekend (Friday night to Monday morning)as he had to work the entire weekend and could not come back to North Carolina.

Besides talking to my ex about this, as he will flat out lie and say this is not happenening, what other options do I have? Legally, can I go to his residence when I know he has left our daughter with his girlfriend for more than a four hour period and pick up my daughter?