Visitation, NEED HELP ASAP, time critical

I have a divorce/custody agreement that is pretty vague about visitation. We have joint physical and joint legal custody of our two children. Basically holidays are swapped every year, vacation time over normal time, holiday time over everything. They normally reside with her. I get them with a seven days notice, she can not deny visitation. I have just transitioned out of the military and I see the kids as much as possible, at least monthly, but most of the time is in the summer, as she moved again, 5 time in 4 years and now they live six and a half hours away.

I gave her a month notice on April 20th, again I’m only required to give 7 days notice, that the children would be in my care from May 26 through July 22. The holidays of Memorial Day and July 4th were supposed to be my holidays this year. There is no provision for her to refuse visitation other than holidays or scheduled vacation time, neither of which she gave notice.

On the Friday, May 25th, I asked what time she wanted me to pick up the kids the next day, she said 2 pm. Then on Saturday the 26th, after I have driven six and a half hours from Norfolk VA to Boone NC, I get a text that says I cannot pick up the kids and if I come on her property it will be trespassing. I called sheriff’s office and they asked if the order stating police escort, which it does not, and they said they cannot do anything. I call the Magistrate and he said that he could not do anything as there was no physical abuse of the children or trauma and to go to the court house on Tuesday and file a contempt motion.

I go to the court house on Tuesday, after I have missed my holiday time, to file a Motion to show cause for contempt, and they state that I need a lawyer to file. I am a full time student in Virginia, but resident of Watauga County, and make 5000 a year. They suggested calling Legal Aid, but Legal Aid said they do not deal with custody issues. It’s not custody, I’m not asking for custody. I want the written agreement ratified in North Carolina to be ENFORCED and her held in contempt of the written contract.

I went to a lawyer at Appalachian Law Center, for 100 bucks and 30 minutes. I got “have you tried mediation, lets send her a letter and see what she says.” Her response, three days later is that, she wants me to pay for her lawyer, from Carteret County, to drive 6:30 each way and 4 hours of mediation at 250 bucks, plus expenses for overnight stay, say 6000 dollars (NOT HAPPENING). So, I ask what’s the next step to file contempt charges and the lawyer says 5000 bucks… NOT HAPPENING the issue may take 1 to 2 hours tops in court to be heard and judge to drop the hammer and I limited funds that amount is a years wages for a few hours of work…

WHAT motion or action can I take in order to get my scheduled time with the children and have her reprimanded in some way for abducting the children?? I need to know the actual MOTION form number for a show cause/contempt/etc (send me link to correct document to file). I went to the NC court system website found lots of Motions paper work, but I am not sure which one to select and fill out. I live in Virgina and I’m sticking around Boone for another few days trying to see what I can do to take the kids home with me. This is my last hope…

I’m living off my GI Bill while in school. Is there anyone that can help a service member in need and wanting to see his kids???


No money, no help. Now, if you were a woman who needed child support money the government would be glad to help you.

Seriously, You should try other attorneys. It shouldn’t cost $5000 to file a motion to have her held in contempt.

I believe it is a “show cause” order that you are looking for. (Ryan can correct me on this.) There are no real “forms”. You have to draft one following a formula that is standard throughout the court system.

Union county provides something like a form. An example of a show cause order is:

It’s also worth looking into to see if you are still able to get some legal assistance through the military.