When you filed for a divorce in a California court, your children’s well-being was likely at the forefront of your mind. Their best interests were no doubt a central focus of proceedings. You may have felt relieved and ready to adapt to a new lifestyle with your kids after signing a solid child custody agreement.
If problems have arisen as time has passed, you are definitely not alone in your struggle, as many parents have experienced similar issues. Sometimes, an issue is easily resolvable by amicable discussion. Other times, however, such as if your ex is disregarding the court’s child custody order, resolving the issue can be quite challenging.
Child custody interference often leads to civil contempt charges
When you and your ex each added your signature to a child custody agreement in divorce, you both became obligated to adhere to its terms. At some point, the judge overseeing your case probably spoke to you about this exact issue and may have added that a custody order is legally enforceable and disregard of a court order is punishable by law.
Interference from a parent regarding the terms of a custody order often compels family court judges to find parents in contempt of court. What constitutes interference? One issue would be a complete disregard of the terms of your child custody order, such as if your ex is supposed to drop off your children at a certain location and time but refuses to do so. If your ex has denied your kids access to you, this is also a type of custody interference.
Your scheduled time with your kids is your own
Another way that your ex might interfere with child custody is to interrupt your scheduled time with your children. If you have custody of them for a week, for instance, and their other parent keeps showing up, unannounced, inviting them to go somewhere, this might be a direct disregard of the terms of agreement in your divorce settlement.
It’s understandable that you want to minimize stress and disruption in your children’s daily life, as you and they work together to create new routines and family customs following your divorce. It is also understandable, however, that you do not want to sit back and do nothing when you know that your ex is disregarding a child custody order. Many parents, who have faced similar custody issues, have petitioned the court to enforce its orders — the first step of which is usually to seek legal support.