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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13748
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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What can I do about a parent that wont follow the custody

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What can I do about a parent that won't follow the custody order?
Thank you for your question.

Where a parent is violating the terms of a custody order, the other party may file a Motion for Contempt of Court (also sometimes referred to as an Order to Show Cause).

Essentially, what a Motion for Contempt does is inform the court "Judge, on X date, you entered a custody/visitation order that required Parent A to do ________________ (whatever the order says). Parent A violated the terms of that Order on ___________ (whatever date/dates) by doing ______________ (whatever they did). They are in violation of the original court order, and I would therefore request sanctions."

If a court finds that a parent has willfully violated the terms of the Order, they can impose sanctions, which are left to the judge. It can be something as simple as the judge giving them a lecture and making them pay your attorney fees for having to file the motion, to something much more serious, like jail time, for repeated violations.

For example purposes, here are forms and instructions for an Order and Motion to Show Cause from Sante Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos Counties. If you live in one of those counties, you can use these official court forms. If you don't - check with your Clerk of Court if you intend to file the Motion and Order yourself - they likely have very similar forms you can use.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. So a restraining order would not be appropriate, it is a contempt of court. You have been very helpful. Thank you.
A retraining order would only be appropriate in situations where, say, a parent was violent with you or the minor child, or was stalking you. It is used when you want to prevent a person from having contact with you or others in the household.

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