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Technically speaking if you don't allow the child to go with the father, that would be "contempt". Contempt is where you are not in compliance with the court order, and the father could take you to court for contempt. It would be in a "motion to show cause and for contempt" proceeding. The "show cause" portion is where you would need to explain yourself. The good news is that a judge will almost never "throw the book" at you when you act in good faith and in the child's best interest. Note that it can in no way be perceived to be benefiting you or to harm the other parent. It HAS to be for the benefit of the child and for the protection of the child. The fact that she has been staying with the grandparents that have had other kids removed due to abuse is very persuasive that this is for the child's best interest. And so long as you can document the other issues (lice, illegal drugs, etc...) then you would have "good cause" to violate the court order.
Now that being said, you DO need to file for a modification ASAP. If you file for the modification before the father files for contempt, that's another indication that you're acting in good faith and for the benefit of the child, rather than just to harm the father.
I cannot say for certain that you will not get in trouble or not be held in contempt by the court, but 95% of the time where there is good cause to do so, violating the order in the "best interests" of the child is excused by the judge, particularly when you take swift action to get this in front of the judge.
Again, the key is to document everything and to be able to prove your assertions. Even testimony that the kids were taken away due to abuse would help and put the burden on the father to disprove those allegations.
But you do want to show that you acted for "good cause" when you denied the court ordered visitation.
If you feel that the child is in danger, I would even suggest filing for a temporary restraining order against the grandparents (in light of the abuse allegations) and him. That would be a "de facto" order that would mean that he couldn't have the kids in the presence of the grandparents. I would talk to the police about such an order.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
As long as I file before he files for contempt i wont get in trouble for keeping her. i was gonna file same-day. i cant go today, court house is closed
Understood. Again, note that I am NOT saying that you WON'T get in trouble. Rather, I am saying that most likely you won't. It's up to the judge in your matter to say for certain. But you are less likely to get in trouble if you file first, if you have a good reason to withhold visitation, etc...
The only sure way that you won't get in trouble is if you already have a court order that modifies it. But to get that will take a bit of time, so until then if you withhold visitation there's a risk (albeit a small one) that you could get in trouble. Again, it's highly unlikely, but it is possible.
Of course, you have to do what's right for your child.
If I was in your position, I would take that risk.
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