Enforcement of custody

Enforcement of Custody~ 3 min read

Enforcing a custody order can seem overwhelming and frustrating. Still, it’s vital to understand its crucial role in preserving your family’s stability and well-being. By taking action to enforce the order, you’re ensuring that your custody arrangement is honored. This means using legal tools to make sure everyone follows the rules. In serious cases, the court might even impose fines or jail time on the non-compliant party. Ultimately, enforcing custody orders is about protecting the child’s well-being and providing a stable upbringing.

  • Filing a Family Access Motion: The Missouri family access motion is a powerful tool that can help you enforce your custody rights and ensure that your children have access to both parents. This motion allows you to request the court’s assistance in enforcing custody and visitation orders, ensuring that your ex-partner follows through on their responsibilities. By filing a family access motion, you can take control of the situation and ensure that your children’s best interests are protected. You will need to detail any denied visitation instances, including dates and circumstances. The Court may order make-up time, counseling, or payment for reunification counseling, require the violator to post a bond, assess a fine up to $500, and award attorney fees and court costs.
  • Filing a Motion for Contempt: Often times a family access motion and motion for contempt are filed at the same time; you can choose to file one or both of these motions.  A motion for contempt involves filing a motion with the Court, the Court issuing a “Show Cause” order, that directs the non-complying party to appear before the court to show cause why the court should not find them in civil contempt for failing to follow the Court order. The Court can order the same remedies as the family access order but can also order incarceration if the behavior is egregious. You must prove the non-compliant party was acting willfully, in conscious disregard for the Court’s order, and had the ability to comply with the order.  

Enforcing custody arrangements can be challenging, but the court takes these matters seriously and will carefully review your case to determine the best course of action. By presenting evidence and documenting any violations of the custody agreement, you can strengthen your case and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice to better understand the process and maximize your chances of success. Remember, you have the right to enforce custody arrangements for the well-being of your children.  It is important to remember that the goal of enforcing custody arrangements is not to punish or retaliate against your ex-partner, but rather to ensure that your children have consistent access to both parents.

Enforcement actions can often signify challenging co-parenting dynamics. While some situations find resolutions, financial disputes can exacerbate tensions. Ideally, you should consider Mediation or the Collaborative process, even in enforcement scenarios, to foster a smoother process for the well-being of the child involved.

If you have questions or need legal assistance regarding child custody, child support or any other family law matter, please contact Jennifer Piper at 314-449-9800 to schedule a consultation. Family Ally is located at 130 S. Bemiston Ave., Suite 608, St. Louis, MO 63105.

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