In Orange County and throughout California, one of the most frequently contested issues when a couple shares a child is a child custody dispute. These issues can be extremely damaging to everyone involved, and the parents often forget that the best interests of the child should come to the forefront. There are some instances in which the disagreement has to do with enforcing a child custody order. When this happens, it is important that the parent knows what to do in the event that the other parent is not adhering to the order.
Complying with a court order when it relates to custody is a legal matter that can lead to problems for the parent choosing not to follow the order. When one parent is dealing with another parent who is not following the order due to a child custody dispute or for some other reason, it is unwise for the parent to take matters into his or her own hands. The parent should do one of the following: call the police so the order can be enforced; contact the county district attorney regarding child abduction and recovery; and file with the court that the other parent is in contempt.
Regarding contempt, it must be shown that the other parent disobeyed the order in a willful manner. The request is being made that the court step in to make certain that the order is being enforced. With an allegation that the other parent is in contempt or might be in the process of abducting the child, it is imperative that the parent making the request is certain that he or she wants to go that far to have the order enforced.
Maintaining accurate records and discussing the custody issues is preferable than having the courts step in, but sometimes help from the courts is necessary. Communication and knowing when and where the child is supposed to be can avoid an escalation of tensions in a child custody dispute. The parents' relationship with children is paramount, but not more important than the child's safety. In the event that there is a belief that the child custody order is not being followed, the first step to resolving the matter satisfactorily is to discuss the case with a legal professional experienced in enforcing a child custody order.
Source: Courts.Ca.gov, "Enforcing a custody order," accessed on Dec. 2, 2014