The holidays are one of the most difficult times for parents who went through a divorce. Not only are there changes in the schedule and times in which you can spend with your children but often the custodial parent begins to deny access to the children. The court ordered that you have certain times yet it is incredibly difficult to pack your children’s bags and wake up on Christmas without them there. Because of this many parents begin to ignore the court’s order and deny the other parent their time with the children.
When this happens what can you do? You can take your court order and call local law enforcement authorities. Depending on the county some police forces will enforce the order on site, many others simply state it is a civil matter for the courts and do nothing, this is usually what happens. What you will need to do is file a contempt action against the parent denying visitation. Simply stated you are going to ask the court to punish the individual who is not obeying the court. In a case in which visitation is an issue not only will the court grant extra visitation to make up for the time but they will order the reimbursement of attorney fees. If they continue with the behavior they will be sentenced to jail. If the matter becomes egregious and interferes with the parental relationship a modification of custody may be in order. The most important thing to remember is do not waste time fighting in the front yard, simply enforce the order you already have.