When to File Contempt Charges for Child Custody Violations in Pennsylvania
Contempt Charges for Child Custody Violations
Once a child custody and visitation agreement is approved by the court, all parties involved are required to adhere to its provisions. Failure to do so is a serious violation of a court order and is punishable by fines and jail time. If someone is denying you your court ordered visitation rights, you will want to speak to an experienced Pennsylvania child custody attorney.
For over two decades, the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. has been successfully representing Pennsylvania parents involved in child custody and visitation disputes. We know how important your relationship with your children is, and want to help you preserve that relationship. For a free case evaluation, call the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. at (866) 290-9292.
What Can Be Done If Your Ex Is Denying You Custody and Visitation Rights?
If you are being denied custody and/or visitation rights, you basically have three options:
- Call the police: This is recommended if you are unable to make contact with the child or you fear the child is in danger.
- Enlist an attorney to write a formal letter to the violating parent and inform them that you are about to take legal action against them. This lets them know you are serious and also begins documentation needed to take legal action.
- File contempt of court charges: This is recommended in cases of serious or ongoing violations of child custody and visitation agreements.
Of these options, a contempt of court charge is usually the most effective.
Can A Parent Legally Deny Custody or Visitation Rights To Another Parent?
Many parents believe they can withhold visitation or custody from another parent if that parent has not paid child support. This is not true. The courts consider visitation and custody rights to be separate from child support. Likewise, one parent cannot withhold child support payments if they are being denied custody or visitation rights.
What is a Contempt of Court Charge?
Because child custody and visitation agreements are court approved and legally binding, not abiding by its provision is a violation of a court order - contempt. A charge of contempt allows the court to take such actions as imposing fines, jail time, physically returning the child to the other parent, denying visitation by the violating parent, and order that the defendant pay damages and legal fees of the plaintiff.
How Does One File A Motion For Contempt of Court
First, you’ll want to have as much documentation as possible. This could include copies of letters, emails, and police reports, but also phone messages, texts, and relevant days and dates, and descriptions of events.
Next, you’ll want to seek the representation of an experienced Montgomery County family law firm. While legal representation is not required, it is highly advised in such situations. Remember, it is your child’s best interests that are at stake, you will want informed and knowledgeable guidance when you take legal action.
Contact Us to Discuss Child Custody Violations Today
For over 20 years, the legal team at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. has helped Philadelphia area parents maintain their relationships with their children. Call our offices today for a free consultation. Dial (866) 290-9292.