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Can you hold your child’s other parent in contempt?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2021 | Child Custody

Dealing with your child’s other parent can be incredibly frustrating. Their unwillingness to work with you can be time consuming and infuriating, but their willful disregard of a court order can threaten your relationship with your child. That’s why if your child’s other parent fails to adhere to a clear court order you should consider taking legal action to ensure their compliance.

Contempt proceedings in New Jersey

If you’re in this situation, then seeking a contempt order might be your best option. In order to do so, you first have to file a motion with the court asking that a hearing be set in order for the matter to be addressed. In this motion, you’ll want to be clear and detailed as far as identifying which specific court order has been violated, how it was violated, when it was violated, and even your attempts to obtain compliance without the court’s intervention.

The ultimate goal of contempt proceedings is to obtain compliance. This is easier said than done, of course, which is why the court can impose a number of penalties upon your child’s other parent in order to try to force them into compliance. These penalties may include jail time, but more realistically your child’s other parent might be fined or be forced to pay your attorney fees.

Modification after contempt

If your child’s other parent has been found to be in contempt of court, then you might have a strong foundation to seek a modification of an existing child custody or visitation order. This will require a separate motion to be filed and an additional hearing to be held, but if you’re worried about your child’s best interests and your access to your child, then this may be your best course of action.

These are delicate matters that can be fraught with emotions. For this reason, it might be a good idea for you to work closely with a skilled family law attorney who will know how to fight for you and your child.