What happens if a parent violates a child custody order?

In our last post, we discussed the potential penalties parents can face for violating orders for child support. In this post, we will explore the potential penalties for violating child custody orders in California.

Child custody and visitation plans are crucial for parents and children. They are put in place to ensure that a child is taken care of and is able to spend time with both parents when they are unmarried or divorced. Staying in compliance with these orders is crucial; violations can put a child in danger and result in serious penalties for a non-compliant parent. It is important for California parents to be clear on state courts handle enforcement of child custody orders.

Violating a child custody order can take several different forms. It can involve one parent failing to return a child to the other parent at the agreed upon place and time, neglecting to show up to pick a child up, or even kidnapping a child and bringing him or her across state or country borders.

In the event that a parent commits a violation, he or she could face serious penalties, including:

  • Loss of custody privileges
  • Court appearances and associated fees
  • Jail time for parents who are found to be in contempt

These penalties could damage not only a parent's relationship with a child but also the child's well-being. Kids already have enough difficulty adjusting to parenting plans that require them to split time with parents; adding to that the confusion and instability of having a non-compliant parent can only make things more upsetting and frightening for them.

In order to avoid custody violations, parents need to be very clear on the requirements of a parenting plan and make every effort to comply with their obligations. Should an issue arise, the parent who is not in violation of a court order should take steps to document the violations and speak with an attorney.

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    Attorneys Paul Gavin and Wayne Dersch are certified as a family law specialists. Learn More