Document Your Ex-Spouse’s Violations
Video Transcribed: My name is Jason Lile, and I am a Tulsa Dads Rights lawyer. I wanted to discuss for a minute what you can do if the other parent of your child or children is simply not following your custody and visitation order. That is a very difficult problem to solve.
The short answer is to hire a lawyer. When hiring a lawyer, the lawyer should first reach out to the other party. If they have a lawyer, they must reach out to that party’s lawyer and let the lawyer or the party know, “Hey, you’re not following this order.”
If that gets you nowhere, that’s the shortest solution; you might have to file a contempt citation. What does that mean? A contempt citation is a technical term application for indirect contempt of court citation. It’s in direct contempt to not follow a custody order. You are asking the court to recognize that the person is disobeying their order and asking them to punish them, in addition to enforcing the order.
That is quasi-criminal because you could spend up to six months in jail and get a $1000 fine for being in direct contempt of court. So it’s very serious. There’s an arraignment, just like any other criminal proceeding. There’s a discovery period. They have a right to a jury trial. Unlike any other family law matter, it’s very different.
As much trouble as it is, I always counsel my clients that it might be the only way to push another party off center when thinking they can disobey a court order about visitation and custody with impunity.
If you do not bite the bullet and take them to court to enforce your rights, they will likely always walk all over you because they think they can get away with it without consequences. It may take once or twice doing this before they have to expend the time and resources and face jail time to teach them that this is serious and they can’t just disobey the court’s orders. They may never learn that, but certainly, if you don’t stand up for your rights, they won’t.
So you can consult a lawyer, ask that lawyer about contempt citations or contempt charges against the other party, or a motion to enforce visitation. That’s a good tool because that has to be heard within 21 days. It’s much quicker. It doesn’t have the same quasi-criminal implications as a contempt citation. So that might be the appropriate instrument, but you should consult with an experienced family law lawyer about getting your rights enforced in a court order.
If you have any questions about family law matters or ever need an Oklahoma Child Custody Attorney for Men or an Oklahoma Child Support Attorney For Dads, please contact dads.law.