What Are the Sanctions for Not Abiding By a Child Custody Order?

Once a court issues an order on child custody, you might breathe a sigh of relief at the resolution of your case. However, in highly contested and ongoing custody matters, a court order is rarely a final resolution. Inevitably, one or both parents will claim that the other parent violated the court order in some manner. As some violations of child custody orders can be very serious, it is often hard to know where to turn first for help. This is why an experienced child custody lawyer is the first person you should consult when your child’s other parent violates a child custody order.

Some examples of common violations of child custody orders include the following:

·         One parent prevents the other parent from seeing the child according to the terms of a parenting time schedule that the parties previously agreed upon.

·         One parent refuses to allow the other parent to have reasonable communications with the child when in his or her custody, via telephone, emails, text messages, or Skype visits.

·         One parent fails to inform the child’s school and doctor that the other parent should have equal access to the child’s educational and medical records.

Parents often wonder if violation of a court order will result in the other parent being ordered to pay a fine, provide make-up parenting time for the time that was missed, pay attorney’s fees, or even be thrown in jail, in extreme cases. Fortunately, New Jersey law does provide some remedies for individuals in this situation.

New Jersey Rule of Court 1:10-3 allows a parent to seek a remedy for violation of a child custody order. The rule clearly establishes that any sanctions against a parent that a court awards must be coercive, rather than punitive in nature. New Jersey Rule of Court 5:3-7 sets forth the potential remedies under this rule, which may include payment of fines, payment of attorney’s fees, and even a term of incarceration that is designed to coerce the parent into complying with the child support order. Likewise, the court can order make-up parenting time between a parent and child, modify the existing transportation agreements, require that all exchanges of the child occur in a public place, order the parent to perform community service, and even modify the existing order, if doing so would be in the child’s best interests.

Child custody cases tend to be extremely difficult and emotional for all parties involved, and these cases only become more stressful when a parent violates a court order. Legal assistance is necessary to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your family. Furthermore, we understand that no two families are the same, so we treat you as a person with a family and with unique concerns and needs.  The bottom line is that we are here to help you through whatever family law matter you are facing. The lawyers at Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, regularly handle family law, divorce, and other cases involving children. Contact our experienced attorneys today so that we can get started on the work that is necessary to resolve any child custody matter. With our lawyers at your side, you will be able to make important decisions about your family from a position of knowledge, confidence, and strength.