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Enforcing Child Custody Orders

Orange County Family Law Attorneys

Child custody orders have the force of law behind them. If a child's parent is refusing to comply with the decree issued after a divorce, then it is essential to retain the services of an experienced family lawyer who can advocate on behalf of you and your children. Taking proper steps may ensure that parents comply with the child custody orders and act appropriately within the bounds of the law. Do not take chances with your child's safety. As a board-certified family law specialist, I have the experience to help clients make smart decisions.

Take Action to Enforce the Order

Several steps may be taken when a parent is not complying with an order, such as:

  • Ask local law enforcement to enforce the order.
  • Contact the county district attorney and/or Child Abduction and Recovery Unit.
  • File an action for "contempt" with a court.

These actions may be suited for different situations. Ultimately, they serve to encourage parents to comply with child custody orders. Unless you believe your child is under threat, it is usually a good idea to consider your options with guidance from a family law attorney. Because every situation is unique, it is important to know how the law affects all parties involved and whether certain actions will do more harm than good. You should contact an Orange County divorce lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

Maintain All Paperwork and Documentation

Keeping thorough documentation of all court orders, agreements, and transactions will help in situations where legal action is necessary. When your papers are in order, a court order may be expedited, and law enforcement may be able to take swifter action with a clearer understanding of the situation. It is in your best interest to keep copies and notes of all transactions you make inside and outside court.

The steps that should be taken in enforcing a custody order include the following:

  • Keep copies of court orders in a safe place.
  • Ensure orders are clear about details of visitation, including holidays, birthdays, etc.
  • Get a new court order if you or the other parent agree to make changes to an order.
  • Document all changes made to custody arrangements.

Filing for Contempt of Court

Should a child's parent be in violation of a court order, you have the right to file an action for contempt. This filing is essentially a request that the court take action to enforce the custody order. If the court finds that the other party has knowingly disregarded this order, he or she could be exposed to severe penalties. Keep in mind that court-imposed orders and penalties may create conflict. It may be better for all parties involved to consider other options of mutually settling disputes before filing an action of contempt.

Do Not Take Chances with Your Child's Safety

If you are worried that your child may be in danger or that the other parent may attempt to kidnap your child, take immediate action to keep your child safe. Seek help from law enforcement immediately. Keeping careful documentation of court orders and other paperwork and maintaining open communication with the other parent may help to reduce the risk of dangerous situations.

There are several precautions you may take in a case of kidnapping or abduction:

  • Keeping a list of addresses and phone numbers of the other parent's relatives and friends.
  • Maintaining a record of important information about the other parent.
  • Writing a description of your child, including physical features and other characteristics.
  • Taking full-face color photographs for identification regularly.

Protect Your Custody Rights in Orange County, CA

My name is Kevin B. Gibbs, and I have served Southern California residents in divorce and family court cases for more than two decades. As a board-certified family law specialist, I am experienced in these types of cases and am prepared to go to extra mile to protect your rights and the interests of your child. Don't hesitate to retain the legal support and counsel necessary to protect your family. I offer free initial consultations, so contact my team today. I will do my best to schedule your case evaluation within the first 48 hours of your call.

Contact Kevin B. Gibbs, APLC today and learn more about how I am prepared to help you protect your rights and the best interests of your child.