I filed for contempt of visitation for the first time. I have a court order that states i get to have my daughter on the weekends and im able to call her everyday between 8-9pm. I have recorded everytime i called and everytime i showed up to pick my daughter up. for about a month and a half now i havent seen or spoken with my daughter. after she was serve with the papers the mother of my daugher counter petitioned with a motion to modify visitation. Can she do that if she is found in contempt? also, i really would like to get full custody. what should i do? i havent seen spoke to my daugher on her birthday or fathers day. I also have txt messages when she says my daughter doesnt wanna go with me. That my daughter hates me because i called the police on her and that she wasnt goin with me on my weekends
State/Country relating to question: Maryland
Hello, and thank you for your questions. You had more than one, so I would like to answer them in the order that they were presented.
I will start by saying that, because the nuances of every case are different, you should not rely on this information as advice or apply it to a specific situation without a more thorough in-person consultation with counsel. That said, the first question is whether a court can grant a custody modification to a parent who has been found in contempt. The answer is "yes", although it is unlikely in most situations. A court will award or modify custody based on the best interests of the child. There is a legal presumption that a child's best interests are served by obedience to the court's orders, so the parent making the request would have to explain why their proposal is appropriate in light of the fact that they are found to have acted against the best interests of the child.
Generally, a contempt conviction will adversely affect a parent's request for custody... the court is more likely to reduce custody than increase it. But there is no rule that says the court can't increase custody... it is just very unlikely in general.
Does that make sense so far?
yes it does
Very good. The second question pertained to how to get full custody. Were you asking about the mechanics of making the request, or were you asking about posturing so a judge would approve it?
posturing so a judge would appove. If she found in contempt. She will not let me see her or talk to her. Even her husband got on the phone and was telling me she unavailable
The first thing that you have to recognize is that there is nothing that any parent can ever do to get full custody without the other parent's "help"--because it does not matter how good of a parent you are; if the other parent is doing their job as a parent, you can expect custody to be split. So you need the other parent's "help" by making serious mistakes.
A "mistake" would certainly include interfering with the other parent's relationship with the child.
Generally, the parent wanting full custody would do well to keep a record of everything--their own care and relationship with the child, and the other parent's interference. It is important to not nit-pick to avoid looking petty, but if the child is in danger or if the relationship with the child is being infringed upon, those are serious matters.
What are you doing right now to keep track of these events?
so do i need more then her not letting me see or talk with my daughter? Even after shes served with the papers she continues to disobey the custody order. From what i heard was she would just get a slap on the wrist saying dont do it anymore and thats it?
I think that you did not understand. I am not saying that you need more than her not letting you see or talk with your daughter. In fact, that could certainly be enough for any given case.
oh ok sorry
A contempt charge is a criminal offense; it carries the possibility of fine and jail time. It will also show up on a criminal background check permanently.
Are you a financial position to have your daughter examined by a psychologist?
Are you familiar with "parental alienation syndrome"?
I am suspicious that your daughter may be suffering from parental alienation syndrome. It is the phenomenon when the child rejects one parent to gain acceptance of the other.
It is not a universally recognized condition--you won't find it in the DSM-IV, but plenty of psychologists recognize it by symptoms even if they do not recognize it by name (many do recognize it by name).
One strategy for "full custody" where a parent is engaged in a campaign of alienating the child from the other parent is to request a court order for a psychological evaluation of the child, and to request the psychologist to opine about the effects of the parent's hostility toward the other.
Does that make sense?
yes it does. Do i request the evaluation now or wait for the court hearing
A request for an order to send a child for psychological evaluation is considered a custody order, so there would need to be a formal request for a modification of the existing custody order unless the existing order already permits it to take place.
As long as the parent is willing to pay the expense, a court would almost never have any opposition to sending a child for a psychological evaluation.
since she filed a modification of visitation would that give me ability to ask for the psychological evaluation or..?
When one parent files for modification of the custody order, the other parent has the opportunity to ask for a modification in the alternative. So both requests can be considered at the same court hearing, if that is what you mean.
Very good. Do you feel like you have direction in your case?
Great. Did you have any other questions?
1 last question my daughter is in 1st grade She has changed elementry schools twice and is getting ready to change for the third time. there was a teacher parent conference at school they believe my daughter has adhd. Can i use that it court against her ?
Explain your theory.
That her moving so much and my daughter not being able to stay consistance in 1 school is effecting her learning capabilities ? if that makes since
I will answer your question this way: kids benefit from stability with or without ADHD.
no further questions
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Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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