A recent post on this blog provided an overview of how a parent can go about enforcing a child custody order in the California courts. While parents are certainly free to try to go at it alone in court and get some justice when the other parent or custodian is depriving them of rightful custody or parenting time, this is often not a wise thing to do.
For one, as the recent post illustrates, enforcing a child custody order is not just a matter of walking in to a California court and getting a child back. The proper papers have to be filed, and once those papers are filed, a person will usually be expected to go into court and present evidence that the custody order is in fact being violated. Moreover, courts may have special rules or even unwritten practices that court staff will expect parents to know.
Furthermore, as many Orange County residents can attest, child custody disputes are often costly in terms of time, money and emotional capital. Going through a child custody dispute, particularly when the other parent either withholds the child or just acts unreasonably, can be particularly stressful, stressful enough that it can be very difficult to navigate through a complicated and possibly unfamiliar legal process while dealing with everything else.
In all child custody disputes, California family law courts make their decisions based upon the best interests of the child, as determined according to state guidelines. That must be the primary consideration for parents, as well. Experienced California family law attorneys clients do their best to help clients through what is no doubt a very difficult time. For more information, see our child custody page.