You may have learned early on in marriage that your spouse doesn’t like to play by the rules. Perhaps when you were dating, you found his or her rebellious nature attractive. As you spent years with your spouse on a daily basis, his or her contrary attitude and argumentative nature may have begun to wear on your nerves. Other New York spouses may be able to relate to your experience.
If you and your partner were prone to arguing in marriage, some of the disagreements you had were likely related to your children. When you filed for divorce, you may have worried that your spouse would try to give you a hard time in court or cause stress as you and your kids adjust to your new family lifestyle. If your ex is causing child custody problems, such as defying a court order, you can do something about it.
Willful versus non-willful contempt of court
If you can show evidence that your spouse is aware of the terms of a child custody order in your divorce but has disregarded those terms on purpose, a judge overseeing the case can enforce the court order or rule that your ex is willfully in contempt of court. On the other hand, if a co-parent can show that he or she was unable to obey the court order due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the court may determine that he or she is in non-willful contempt.
Types of issues the court often incorporates into a child custody order
When you and your ex settled your divorce, the court may have issued an order regarding various matters concerning your kids, such as a day and time or location for custody exchanges if your children will be living in both households. If your ex is paying child support, the terms of agreement would be included in a court order as well.
You may have other details in your child custody order, such as instructions regarding who may pick up or drop off your children to school, for visits or other activities. There may be terms of agreement regarding new romantic partners for you or your ex, such as an agreement that the other parent must meet the new partner before introducing him or her to the children.
Failure to exchange custody, parental alienation and more
Does your rebellious ex keep not showing up to exchange custody? Have the child support checks stopped coming? Is there evidence that your ex is trying to turn your kids against you, such as telling them lies about you or saying that you don’t love them? Such issues can cause high levels of post-divorce stress in a family.
Many concerned parents in similar situations have sought the court’s intervention to enforce a child custody or child support order, or to help resolve other legal issues caused by a co-parent’s disregard of an existing court order.