When a couple’s relationship ends on a sour note the aftermath can be messy, especially if they are parents. Disagreements about child custody and ill will can last well after a child custody order is finalized by the court.
Co-parents who simply do not get along might try to limit or even outright deny the other parent’s right to have access to the child, even if doing so violates their child custody or parenting time order. If this happens, the aggrieved parent has the right to address the situation through the New Jersey court system.
Move for a hearing
If a parent violates a child custody or parenting time order, whether they are the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent, the aggrieved party can file a motion with the court to have the order enforced, to hold the offending parent in contempt or pursue any other appropriate remedies.
Once a parent files a motion, an enforcement hearing will be held within six months. A judgment issued from the proceeding is considered a final order for custody. Any remedies ordered as a result of that judgment must serve the best interests of the child, and changes will not be made unless there is a “genuine and substantial” issue with the current custody situation.
If the court finds a parent wrongfully denied the child’s other parent access to the child in violation of the existing custody order, “make-up” parenting time can be ordered, temporary changes can be made to the parenting time schedule and the offending parent might be required to pay the aggrieved parent’s costs associated with the denial of access.
Sometimes permanent changes must be made to the parenting time schedule, which might mean the loss of custody. The offending parent could even be held in contempt of court, depending on the situation.
Parents sometimes let their emotions get the best of them when it comes to child custody issues. They may make the rash decision to keep the child from their former partner even if doing so violates their child custody and parenting time order. Know, though, that there are significant consequences for violating a child custody order that could cost you custody of your child altogether.