Dealing with your spouse during a toxic marriage can be unbearable, but the truth of the matter is that you’ll probably have to deal with him or her to some extent even after your divorce is finalized. This is especially true if you have children together. While you might be able to hash out a child custody and visitation agreement that works at the time, holding your former spouse to that agreement might be easier said then done.
Can I hold my ex in contempt?
When your former spouse fails to abide by a court-ordered child custody arrangement and visitation plan, then you should start by trying to sort the matter out without court involvement. If that fails, though, then you may want to consider filing what is known as a rule to show cause. Here, you lay out the facts of the situation and ask the court to order your child’s other parent into court and explain why they should not be held in contempt for violating the court’s order.
What good does contempt do?
A contempt hearing can have many benefits, even if it ultimately isn’t successful. First, it tells your child’s other parent that you’re taking these matters seriously, and that you’re not afraid to take legal action. Second, if you’re successful on your motion, then your child’s other parent might be fined or even put in jail for a little while. Again, this sends the message that you, the court, and the court’s orders need to be taken seriously. A successful rule to show cause proceeding may also be the catalyst for a modification of custody, which could include changes to parenting time frequency and supervision, conditions upon a parent’s ability to participate in visitation, or maybe even in physical custody itself.
Are you unsure what you should do?
If so, then you can seek clarification from an experienced family law attorney. These skilled legal professionals can give you an analysis of your situation and provide a realistic view of your options and their likelihood of success. What you’re facing is about your children and their best interests. There’s simply too much at stake to leave these matters in the hands of someone who isn’t aggressive and willing to fight for a just outcome.