The divorce decree states, "parent shall have possession of child for thirty consecutive days beginning at 6:00 pm on July 1 and ending at 6:00 pm on July 31st." If the parent did not pick up the child on July 1st, can they get them anyday in July? Will the other party be in Contempt of Court for not releasing the child a week later?
Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer.
The honest answer to this question is, potentially, yes, the parent refusing to give up the child could be held in contempt for failure to let the child go, even if the the other parent is late in picking the child up.
The concern would be that the order does give possession for a specific duration, and interfering with that possession during any point of the time period specified could be considered contempt.
Now, if there is a valid reason that the parent could not deliver the child (not available on a specific day, but available for pickup a different day) the court may be understanding. However, a flat refusal to give up the child despite an order requiring possession could be found as contempt by the court.
In such a situation, the parent refusing to give up the child would first want to go to court to request that the order granting possession be altered or struck, based on the fact that the other parent did not show, before refusing to give up the child. While the order is still in force, and if it has not been altered, failing to comply, even where the other parent is late, certainly runs the risk of a contempt finding by the court, which is not something that anyone wants to risk.
The same would be true if the other parent failed to return the child by the date specified.
As in all things, prior to taking any action that could result in a contempt finding or breach of a court's order, it is a good idea to consult with a family law attorney in your area in person.
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Good luck to you.
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