Court orders containing parenting agreements after a divorce or separation are very serious and legally binding. Strict compliance with these court orders is crucial to maintain the stability and well-being of the children after their parent’s part ways. When a parent does not comply with the court order, this creates an atmosphere of chaos for everyone involved, especially for the children, because it can easily wreak havoc on their schedule.
If your child’s other parent is willfully violating the custody order, you can force them to comply with the order by filing a motion for child custody contempt. This motion requests the court to schedule a hearing in which the noncompliant parent would need to explain and justify their non-compliance. The parent that violated the custody order may be found in contempt of court and ordered to comply with the order or face serious penalties.
What Exactly is a Motion for Contempt?
A motion for contempt is used to enforce a court order. Basically, a person might be found in contempt if they disobeyed a court order. In your case, you are filing the motion because your co-parent has violated or continues to violate the child custody order.
A constable or process server must inform your noncompliant co-parent of your petition, and you must file your petition with the court. You must wait 21 days before the court can schedule a hearing. Your co-parent must likewise be informed of the hearing via a notice of hearing.
During the hearing, you and your Texas family law attorney must provide evidence to the court to show that your co-parent is in contempt. Your co-parent will have the chance to plead their case and show evidence that they followed the court order or had valid reasons for not being able to comply with the custody order.
It is also vital to note that for the court to find your co-parent in contempt, you must have evidence of willful or intentional disregard of the custody order. Willful contempt or disobedience means that your co-parent knew about the order, could have followed the order, and decided to violate the order without extenuating circumstances.
On the other hand, non-willful contempt can occur when a person fails to comply with a court order because of certain circumstances that they cannot control. One of the most common examples of this is failure to keep up with child support payments because of job loss. The attorney of the person in contempt may likewise argue that the court order was inaccurate or too vague to be enforceable.
Seek Legal Advice From a Skilled Texas Family Law Attorney Now
If you are having issues with your co-parent because they are not following the child custody order, contact Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC. Our Texas family law attorney can help you better understand your situation and explain the laws and legal options specific to your case. To set up your case review with our Texas family law attorney, please call our office at 210-222-9132 or send us an online message.