Teaneck Child Custody Enforcement Lawyer
Parents often put considerable time and effort into developing custody arrangements that prioritize their children’s best interests. When one parent ignores a custody or parenting-time schedule, it can be frustrating for the other parent and detrimental to the child.
If your co-parent is not complying with a custody order, a Teaneck child custody enforcement lawyer can help. The dedicated attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group have successfully resolved child custody disputes throughout the state and understand that nothing is more important to you than your children’s well-being.
Violations of Child Custody Orders
While a court order cannot possibly spell out every prohibited behavior, there are some actions parents commonly take that can be considered violations of a child custody agreement. For example, a parent may:
- Refuse to return a child to the other parent
- Speak negatively about the other parent to the child
- Fail to pick up a child at the designated exchange location
- Enroll a child in religious or educational activities without the other parent’s consent
- Take a child out-of-state without notifying the other parent
- Engage in certain behaviors around the child that are prohibited in the custody order, like smoking, using drugs or alcohol, or exposing the child to a new romantic partner in a way that was not provided for in the agreement
- Refuse to take the child to their scheduled activities, such as music lessons, dance classes, or educational tutoring
If a parent commits any of these violations or takes any other action that contradicts the terms of the custody agreement, the other parent has recourse. A skilled Teaneck child custody attorney can explain a party’s legal options to compel the other parent’s compliance with a custody order.
Resolving Noncompliance with a Custody Order by Agreement
When a parent violates a custody agreement, the other parent’s first reaction may be anger. While understandable, the best first step a parent can take is to talk with the other parent and try to resolve the dispute. It may be that slight modifications can bring the other parent into compliance without having to go before a judge.
If parents do agree to change their child’s custody arrangements, they can submit a proposed Consent Order to the court for consideration. Generally, if a judge determines that the revised arrangement does not go against the child’s best interests, they will approve it. If so, the parents do not need to appear for a contested hearing.
However, there are certain situations where enforcing a child custody order may require court intervention. For example, if one parent has been abusive toward the other, civil discussions between them might not be productive or safe. In those circumstances, a parent can seek the assistance of an experienced Teaneck child custody attorney to pursue a child custody enforcement action.
Enforcement of Litigant’s Rights Proceedings in Teaneck Family Court
If a parent continues to disobey a court order despite the other parent’s best efforts to resolve a custody dispute, the compliant parent can request that the Court hold the non-compliant parent in violation of litigant’s rights. Violation of litigant’s rights is similar to being in contempt of court. The compliant parent can file an application for enforcement and request sanctions, including reimbursement of their legal fees, monetary sanctions, suspension of privileges, and in rare and severe instances, incarceration of the offending parent until they come into compliance. The parent requesting enforcement of litigant’s rights has the burden of proving that the other parent willfully failed or refused to obey the existing child custody order.
If all efforts to secure the other parent’s compliance fail, a parent can request that the Court request the prosecutor’s office to consider criminal charges against the non-compliant parent under New Jersey Statutes Annotated §2C:13-4(a). This statute permits a court to sanction a parent for “interference with custody.” If found guilty under this statute, a parent faces fines and possibly time in jail. An experienced local child custody attorney can explain this option for enforcement in more detail during an initial consultation.
Contact a Capable Child Custody Enforcement Lawyer Today
Custody orders are intended to maintain stability in families post-divorce or separation. When one parent ignores an order, the other parent and the child suffer.
Contact a trusted Teaneck child custody enforcement lawyer if you are having difficulty with a co-parent disregarding your child’s custody schedule. Our firm’s respected attorneys regularly present enforcement and contempt actions in family court. A knowledgeable enforcement lawyer can take the time to familiarize themselves with your case and work toward a favorable outcome.