what to do next, dad is in contempt of court

Sharon - posted on 12/15/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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my ex son in law is in contempt of court. He has physical custody of my 4 yr old grandaughter, my daugter is supposed to have her parenting time everyother weekend. The dad doesnt allow her to be with us, we have taken him to court, 3 times, and they havent done anything . We cant afford a lawyer, we cant get help through legal aid. What to do, what to do....

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Sharon - posted on 12/15/2009

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you don't need a lawyer - he is in contempt of court a jailable offense. You may need a police escort to enforce those rights.

Don't tell him you are calling the police, just tell them you need help enforcing a court order and they will help you. They will go with your daughter to his house or place of business and demand the girl be turned over for your daughters' parenting time.

What happened that she lost custody?

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Megan - posted on 05/27/2011

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Oh yes, keep trying to go to his "residence," if you perhaps know where that is. If refusal call the county sherriff or local Police Department, they can get you a CAD report and its "evidence," of the refusal for visitation. Don't let him call the shots your daughter is the MOTHER and she has "rights."

Please keep us posted!!!

Megan - posted on 05/27/2011

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Wow keep trying legal aid, lawyers have to take on "so many," cases for low income people. I have a friend that ended up getting legal aid after trying 4 or 5 times. Her lawyer (male) was the best actually pretty strict, did you do intake?

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Quoting Sharon:

you don't need a lawyer - he is in contempt of court a jailable offense. You may need a police escort to enforce those rights.

Don't tell him you are calling the police, just tell them you need help enforcing a court order and they will help you. They will go with your daughter to his house or place of business and demand the girl be turned over for your daughters' parenting time.





EXACTLY!!!

Kathi - posted on 01/05/2010

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Look up the state laws on this subject - try your legal library (can be found online). Then look up low-cost or state aided law help or even legal advice - there's always someone out there with a heart - don't give up the search! In the meantime, document-document-document and I mean everything. Time, date, place of all failed switch-offs and the result or even the attempts to get ahold of this father. If you have the court papers in hand, you can the police when it's time for visitation if you know where the child is. It would be advisable to get a child meditator involved for the best interest of the child if the problems persist. If the problem lies in the father having issues with you (as grandparents being involved), his allegations would be documented and backed up in the court papers. If it is not then have your daughter get her daughter when she is away from you and bring the girl back to your house. Unless it's written up in the court papers, your daughter can bring her daughter to see anyone or be anywhere. Please act in the best interest around this child in question, when the two parents meet as it is the child who looses out when they witness the arguments, frustrations, etc. My best to you.

Dina - posted on 12/20/2009

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If the police fail to help you with visitation, they also can be held in contempt

Dina - posted on 12/20/2009

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What to do next, My answer will surprize you, Speaking from Experience ( I didn't do this and the results were horrible) He is breaking the law set by the court system. Throw him into jail, unless there is a reason of some child abuse to be fearful of the childs safety, Then there is no reason for the Mother to be able to visit with her child. Let him sit in jail, and every time he violates the COURT ordered visitation have him arrested. Contempt of court is daring the system to hit you with abuse, he is abusing our system. Don't think by letting him off he cares, He doesn't care about the little girl as much as himself, and she needs all her family members, even if just visiting jail.  Sorry I have no simpathy for law breakers on this topic.. I had this happen to myself and my two children, they were hidden and worse. Now we are still trying to pick up the pieces of a shadered life. My son is 29 and daughter 27, there is no reason to let this man get away with it. If I had it to do over. I would have thrown his selfish booty in jail, sincerely, Dina Hutton:

what to do next, dad is in contempt of court

my ex son in law is in contempt of court. He has physical custody of my 4 yr old grandaughter, my daugter is supposed to have her parenting time everyother weekend. The dad doesnt allow her to be with us, we have taken him to court, 3 times, and they havent done anything . We cant afford a lawyer, we cant get help through legal aid. What to do, what to do....


 

Alicia - posted on 12/15/2009

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The only thing that you can do is wait. There are circumstances Im sure behind why the kids live with him, and the court is aware of them. As far as him being in contempt of court, its hard to show what kind of person someone really is to the court, especially when they are the custodial parent. I was i at a dark place in my life when my sons father and I split drinking all the time, partying.. and I realised that it would be better for my sons to live with him than to be exposed to my lifestyle. After being jerked around by my ex so much and the courts not really doing anything I just stopped trying to show them what kind of person he was, instead I recorded every phone call and kept meticulous records of incidences when I was denied parenting time and what the excuses were that my ex offered me. After about a year of this, and being treated like a negligent parent I went to court agian with all of my records and calmly explained to them the issue at hand, that these were my children and he was using them as a way of getting to me, he wasnt over the fact that we werent together anymore and "punished" me for leaving him by not letting me see our sons. After a couple more court dates a no show on his part and him just opening his mouth they came to the conclusion that he really was playing games with our kids, they didnt ever put him in jail, but I got my back bone back and strong enough to where I stood up to him, him knowing that I wasnt as stupid or uninformed as he thought I was was a real eye opener for him. He eventually stopped being so immature and put the well being of our kids first. With friend of the court or whatever its called by you, there are very specific ways you need to word things, like she should always refer to them as "their" children and not "hers" or "mine", stress that what hes doing is detrimental to the children and all you really care about is their well being. Make sure that they dont think all your trying to do is play the slander game, otherwise they wont take you seriously... these things take time but as long as her motives are the ones that are good or right eventually they will see. Its hard for them not to treat the non custodial parent like crap, especially when all they ever see or hear is excuses. They were baised agianst me for a little while but like I said I just shut up and basically let my ex show his true colors, no here we are 5 years later and I have my boys agian full time, and have for almost 4 years now. While hes the one not paying support or making a real effort to see our sons on a regular basis. Only time can reveal the truth so use it wiseley. One outburst by her or you agianst him in a defimation sort of way and the court will never listen to what you have to say agian. They do care for the well being of the kids and in any state it is illegal to with hold parenting time for any reason. If you have a court order for parenting time, when its her time call a police officer to help inforce it. But in order for them to do that it has to be completley 100% clearly worded that such and such child or children are to be with their mother every 2nd and 4th weekend or for 4 hours on wednsdays... whatever the case may be, if you dont have anything like this, get it. You can get the costs of filing the parenting time forms waived in any state as well you just have to ask for the form to do so. Trying to "slander" his name which is how the courts see if wont get you very far, and may even end up getting both of thier rights revoked if they both play childish games with the kids. In order for her to get any of the above action she has got to be 100% on the turn around, meaning that whatever reason the dad has them can not exist any more. (unless shes physically handicapped..then obviously) Shes got to be on the up and up, moving forward from wherever she was when the inital custody order took place, and focused only on either getting her kids back or at least getting joint custody. But she also has to be aware the in the courts eyes reasonable visitation for a non custiodial parent is like one weekend a month.. lame and ridiculous I know but thats all they'll give unless the two of them decide something more. You can choose to have friend of the court (or whatever they call it where you live) issue them a thrid party mediator, somsone that will be there waiting with her to recieve the children on her assigned days, when he doesnt show then they will have an official record of it. All and all they wont do anything on hear say, shes got to have proof and the best kind is the recorded kind, some states require that the other person knows they are being recorded I wasnt sure of my state laws so just to cover my butt I recorded me telling him that from now on I was going to record our phone calls, you only have to tell them once, and if hes anything like my ex he'll either forget or not take her seriously... but at least that way he cant claim that he didnt know about it. Youd be amazed at some of the things my ex said to me while our conversations were being recorded! Good luck and hang in there, I hope that I helped a little. I know what its like to go through that, and even though it seems hopeless now tell her to hang in there and never give up, ulitmatley the truth will come out,

Michelle - posted on 12/15/2009

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If he is not allowing parenting time, and the courts haven't done anything, then he must be with in his right to deny. The custodial parent can deny, the non custodial then has to take the custodial parent to court, for contempt. The police rarely get involved in these domestic issues, especially not to remove a child from their custodial parent. I am going off of my situation in Nebraska. As for Grandparent rights, you have to file for that as a completely different case. It isn't handled in conjunction with basic parental custodial cases. I would look up the laws for your state, and I would review your daughters court order to make sure she is fullfilling her contact and notice requirements. Good luck!

Tasha - posted on 12/15/2009

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My ex husband has physical custody of my two boys(that I haven't seen in 2 years January 2010) because he drove off with them and "Possession is 9/10 of the law!!! He has been in contempt so many times from not allowing me to talk to them and cutting my visits all together because he felt like it!! I think the issue is, there are a lot of judges that sit on the bench and allow their personal beliefs and feelings cloud their judgement!! I believe that they look down on Mother's that don't have their children for whatever reason and they don't do what's right (my reason stems from Post Partum and my call to child services about possible child avuse by the hands of his cousin)!! It's sad and I will include you in my prayers because children need their mother and the fathers don't realize that they are hurting more than helping!! Have a blessed day!!

Katherine - posted on 12/15/2009

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I've never been in this situation before but my suggestion would be to have a copy of the order showing the mother has parenting time and have a police officer accompany to get the child.

Sheila - posted on 12/15/2009

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You shouldn't need a lawyer to tell your story in court. Once a person is found to be in contempt by the court, a jail term is imposed. I assume he has not yet been found "in contempt". Depending on your state, Grandparents can also get separate visitation rights. Keep going to court until you get what you want.

Jeanne - posted on 12/15/2009

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If you have a court ordered visitation (in written form) then when the father refuses your daughter's visitation you should go to the police immediately and explain the situation. In a lot of cases they will accompany your daughter to go and get the child and if he doesn't allow them to take the child he will probably be charged with contempt of court and then you can get the ball rolling. Because in court if it is not documented in a legal document it is a case of "he said, she said". Good luck to you all. And I know this sounds trite but maybe someone should try telling the father: "You have to love your child more than you hate each other".....Judge Judith Scheindlin

Wendy - posted on 12/15/2009

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In Michigan, you can pretty much call your caseworker (or look online for forms or even show up at the office in person) at Friend of the Court and tell them what is happening. They will assist you with which forms need to be filed for contempt. Then you have to wait for a hearing.

I imagine if you contact the court that the original order was issued from they will be able to direct you what to do. I know when my son's father threatened to legally kidnap him across state lines - not return him after visitation, I lived in a different state - the police refused to get involved until I had the contempt order from the court. In my case everything worked out and my son was returned when he was supposed to be but a lot of waiting is involved.


Good luck!

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2009

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Where do you live (ie what country/state, etc). This may help people be able to respond to your post.



I know that in Australia, you can download contempt of court forms from the Family Court website and file without needing a lawyer, but I don't know anything about anywhere else :)

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