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Child Custody Order Dispute: When Should I Contact a Lawyer?

When attorneys and courts create child custody orders, the goal is to provide the clarity and specificity necessary for parents to exercise their rights predictably. This helps both parents and their children to move forward. Nevertheless, the existence of an order does not stop child custody disputes from arising, frequently involving visitation and access to the child.

When visitation is in dispute between a custodial and noncustodial parent, the party that has a complaint about visitation should look to their child custody order or agreement for guidance on how to proceed. The order will generally spell out the specific terms of the visitation schedule, of how missed or rescheduled visits work, on holidays, phone calls, and electronic communication. It is critical to document and retain any records relating to violations of these orders and to speak with an attorney if you cannot work out your dispute directly with the other parent.

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands Is Not an Option

If you feel like the other parent is violating the custody order, or you are in disagreement with the order, you must speak with an attorney instead of taking matters into your own hands. For example, if you are a noncustodial parent and believe that you are being deprived of your visitation rights, you should NOT go and pick up the children in violation of the order, or refuse to return the children at the end of your visitation period.

Courts take these violations seriously and taking a child from another parent with lawful custody can constitute the crime of parental kidnapping. Also, these actions will negatively impact your future rights to visitation and access when the court revisits the issues.

On the other hand, if you are a custodial parent who decides to withhold ordered or agreed on visitation from a non-custodial parent, there are consequences to this as well. First, a court is explicitly allowed to order additional visitation to a noncustodial parent who has been wrongfully deprived of his or her right to visit. This visitation is meant to compensate the deprived parent of their lost visits and the noncustodial parent gets to choose the timing of the visits.

Additionally, withholding visitation can impact future child custody decisions of the court, which makes decisions on the children’s best interest. Interference with a noncustodial parent’s visitation rights will negatively factor into courts’ decisions.

Family Law Attorneys: Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

If you need assistance enforcing or modifying a child custody order, contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. Our family law attorneys understand what your children mean to you and will use our experience and knowledge to fight for your parental rights. Let us serve you. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a case consultation or contact our office through our website.

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