Options For Law Enforcement When Ex-Wife Denies Visitation
Fathers Rights To Visitation Question:
My ex-wife and I live on different coasts of the country. We are expected to split transportation costs when my children come live with me for several weeks a few times a year.
Obviously it is not cheap, and my ex-wife is refusing to make travel arrangements because she said she cannot afford the travel expenses. So I agreed to pay the full costs this one time, but now she is saying I cannot come to where she lives and take the children. I think she is hiding behind the transportation costs as a way to deny my visitation rights to see my children.
Can I bring the court order with me and show the law enforcement in her state that it is my right to have the children during my parenting time? Will one state’s law enforcement abide by and support a court order entered in another state? How are fathers rights protected in these instances?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Maryland child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.
Your option for immediate enforcement in the state your ex-wife and children live is to approach the police and explain the situation. You could request that they accompany you to your ex’s home so that you can begin your ordered visitation.
There is no guarantee that the police can or will help you. Frequently it depends on the officer and/or their supervisor. The police frequently see child custody as a civil matter and will not get involved.
Read Related Article on DadsDivorce.com: “Should You Call The Police?“
If you cannot get assistance from the police and have to seek enforcement in your home state and where the order was entered, you will need to file for Contempt of Court against your ex for failing to abide by the terms of an Order of Court. The court will generate a Show Cause Order which will have to be served on your ex, but then will require her to appear at a Show Cause Hearing in your state where the order was entered.
If the court finds her in Contempt, she will have to purge herself of the same. Typically when dealing with contempt for denial of visitation that would mean that the court would award you make-up visitation time with the children.
You may also want to consider filing a Motion to Modify Child Custody and/or Child Support.
Depending on the circumstances and facts in your case – including your ex’s refusal to shoulder her share of the cost, the rise in airfare, and the additional costs that you have had to pay – the court may find that material change in circumstances has occurred such that the court will consider modifying an existing order for support and/or custody.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.