Violation of Custody Orders
If one party does not abide by the terms of the custody Order, then they are in “Contempt” of the custody Order. For example, a failure to exchange a child as required by a custody Order could lead to one being found in contempt.
If a party believes that the other party in a custody action is acting in contempt of a custody Order, and they are unable to resolve their dispute amicably, it may be time for them to file a Petition for Contempt with the Court. A Petition for Contempt will lay out the alleged contemptuous act(s) of the other party, as well as the remedy the petitioning party is requesting from the Court. For example, it may be appropriate to alter the custodial schedule to enable both parties to better comply, or it may be necessary to provide a party with make-up time for the custodial time they missed due to the other party’s actions. In extreme cases, the Court may even order a party to cover the other party’s attorney fees. Repeat violations of a custody Order can even lead to jail time for the offending party.
In most counties, the Court will schedule a custody conciliation to deal with the issues raised in the Petition for Contempt. Petitions for Contempt do not generally proceed straight to a judge, but if the parties are unable to agree on a resolution during the conciliation process, then they may proceed to a hearing. If the situation is truly an emergency, then it may be appropriate to file an Emergency Petition at the same time as the Petition for Contempt, which may lead directly to an expedited hearing by a judge if necessary.
If you are interested in learning more about contempt of custody orders, please contact Tanner Law Offices at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.