My ex won’t let me see our kids even though I have a court order. What can I do?
If your ex is not following court orders there are several ways to force him or her do so.
One option is filing what is called a “motion for order to show cause” with the court. In this motion you tell the court the other side is not obeying its orders and what you want the court to do about it. The court will then issue an “order to show cause” requiring your ex to appear at a court hearing and explain why he or she is not following the order. If the court finds your ex was aware of the order, had the ability to comply, and intentionally disobeyed it the court may impose sanctions to ensure it is obeyed going forward. Such sanctions may include an order that your ex make up the parent-time you were shorted, pay your attorney fees, attend adult education classes about the importance of allowing your children to spend time with both parents, perform community service, pay a fine, and in more extreme cases may even sentence your ex to jail and order a change in custody over to you.
Another option is reporting your ex to the police for “custodial interference.” Under Utah Code 76-5-303, it is a crime for a parent to disobey a custody order. Unfortunately, police departments are hit and miss about pressing charges. Some departments will not do anything other than make a report that you are being denied contact with your kids and tell you to take it up with the judge in your civil case while others will press charges and hold your ex accountable. If you want to maximize your chances of the police taking action it is important that you keep a copy of your court order with you to show them what is required and that your order clearly specify who is entitled to custody of the kids at a given point in time.
If your ex develops a pattern of interfering with your court ordered parent-time rights you may be able to persuade the Judge to order a change in custody altogether.
Give us a call today at 855-254-2600 to learn how we can help enforce your parent-time rights.