What can I do if my ex ignores the home stay policy and puts our children at risk?
I do not practice law in your state. As a result, I cannot tell you about the specific laws of your state, but I can give you general tips for this type of problem.
As you experience, many parents wrongly ignore the pandemic warnings during this time. As a result, many family courts in the country respond quickly to such situations.
That being said, the courts generally don’t want parents to help themselves. In this case, a parent decides what they think is the best course of action without seeking judicial intervention. For example, if you have decided to withhold your children because of the behavior of the other parent, the court may disapprove of it.
If you have an enforceable court order, you certainly have the right to inform the police that if the other parent puts the children in danger, the order will not be obeyed. Sometimes law enforcement agencies are unwilling to enter into situations that may be considered a family law issue and instruct people to bring appropriate claims to the courts.
Many courts currently have emergency or expedited hearings because of the contempt for custody decisions. If your jurisdiction has a stay at home order, many courts have virtual hearings so you can attend a hearing by phone or videoconference.
In my jurisdiction, once a custody decision has been made by the court, the court expects each party to comply, but the court considers the best interests of the child (s) to be paramount. If the parties to a custody decision fail to comply with the terms of the order and / or put the children at risk, the party seeking to enforce the terms of the order may file a motion for contempt against the party concerned.
In order for contempt to be determined, the moving party (who wants to show that there was contempt) must demonstrate that the offending party “intentionally violated the court order”. In other words, you need to show that someone is intentionally failing to comply with the terms of the custody decision.
However, the courts will usually only enact contempt if the custody decision has actually been violated or there is clear evidence (i.e. a person who actually declares, preferably in writing, that he is not abiding by the provisions of the court order) that the custody decision is not followed. If the courts find that a party has violated the custody decision, the court can apply various remedies.
Some examples include: imposing fines, paying attorneys’ fees while retaining legal counsel, changing the custody decision (a rare occurrence that can occur when contemptuous behavior is ubiquitous and persists), and possible incarceration.
Contact Cordell & Cordell to arrange an initial consultation to discuss male divorce rights with a Cordell & Cordell attorney including Pennsylvania divorce attorney Caroline Thompson.
Shawn Garrison is an online editor for Lexicon and focuses on issues related to the legal services of clients Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless articles addressing the unique custody and divorce problems of men and fathers. Through his work on CordellCordell.com, CordellCordell.co.uk and DadsDivorce.com, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal practice and was the content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and other videos on the YouTube channels Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell. Mr. Garrison has managed these clients’ websites and promoted the creation of several of their roles, including the Cordell & Cordell lawyer and office pages, Dad’s divorce newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.