Child Custody Violations in California
By Henry F. Lewis on April 27, 2020
When people divorce or separate, they need to determine how they will share time with their children and divide parenting responsibilities. Even if parents are able to come to an amicable agreement about such matters, the family law attorneys at Gardner & Lewis, LLP advise their Oakland, CA, clients to have official custody and visitation orders in place with the court.
Court orders are enforceable, so should any issues arise, there are legal options to consider. Our attorneys are ready to assist any parent who is dealing with child custody violations in California so that they can get what is best for their family and their child.
Have Detailed Agreements in Place
The most efficient way for parents to protect the best interests of their children is by having custody and visitation agreements filed with the court. These documents should have as much detail as possible, so that there is little room for arguments or misinterpretation.
When we are working with our Oakland clients to create a custody and visitation agreements, we consider all the fine details that parents may not initially consider. This includes determining how much time a child will spend with each parent on a regular basis, where they will spend holidays and other special occasions, who will bring the child to extra-curricular activities, and how the child will be transferred between the parents.
In addition to having a copy of custody arrangements on file with the court, each parent should have his or her own personal copy on hand. Agreements should be kept in a safe or other secure location so that they can be referred to if there are ever any conflicts or violations.
Even when a child custody agreement is in place, it is not unusual for a parent to violate orders. There are various reasons a parent may violate child custody agreements. Sometimes they believe they are doing what is best to protect the child, while other times they may be retaliating against the other parent in anger. In either case, it is illegal to violate child custody arrangements in any way, including:
- Keeping a child longer than allowed
- Refusing to uphold an agreed upon holiday schedule
- Failing to let the child visit or have access to the other parent
- Taking the child out of state without permission
Enforcing Child Custody
Because child custody agreements are legally enforceable, there are several options available when a parent is violating custody arrangements. To take immediate action, a parent can call the local law enforcement agency and report the violation. As long as a court order can be produced to show that the other parent is in violation of the agreement, law enforcement can step in to enforce the order.
If parents fear that violations will continue to be a problem or if the situation is ongoing, they should consider filing a contempt action in court. Depending on the severity of the situation, the violating parent could face civil or criminal penalties, including fines or jail time. Our Oakland clients may also be able to seek a change in their custody arrangement due to the violations. Our attorneys are happy to assist clients in filing appropriate court documents.
Schedule a Consultation
The family law attorneys at Gardner & Lewis, LLP are happy to help clients settle matters regarding divorce, child custody, or child custody violations. If you would like to learn how we can be of assistance to you and your family, call (510) 451-4822 to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.
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“The needs of your family are always at the forefront of our legal services. Whether through litigation or mediation, we believe that reaching a fair, efficient solution with minimal negative impact to your family is of the utmost importance.” Henry F. Lewis