The issue of custody and visitation is typically the primary determination before the court in divorce and legitimation proceedings. During the child custody determination the court’s role is to determine what is in the best interest of the child. This will take into account each parent’s role in the child’s life, which parent is best suited to be the primary custodian and how much time each parent will get to spend with the child. Once the court’s decree is issued it is intended to be the final word on the issue of custody and serve as the official guide for the parents on visitation. Holidays are always times that parents want to spend with their children. In fact, holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are often sources of compromise since both parents have to make accommodations during the litigation process as each side determines which scenario is best them. To assist with this process a parenting plan will be submitted by each parent which will outline the time that each parent will get to spend with the child during the week, weekends and holidays. The parenting plans are not controlling on the court but often serve as a foundation for the court’s final decree.
The final decree is a legally binding document and is recognized by law enforcement as controlling authority. In other words, if you have concluded your custody case and the court has ruled in your favor you will have the support of law enforcement if the other parent is refusing to abide by the court’s order. For example, a father has been granted visitation with his child during the Christmas holiday and the mother of the child is refusing to allow him to pick the child up. There are two ways to handle this situation:
- The most immediate solution is to have law enforcement review the court’s order and enforce the court’s ruling.
- A more long-term solution would be to file a contempt motion with the court alleging the other party as violating the court’s order. This will typically be accompanied by a request for attorney’s fees as well.
The most important thing to remember in this scenario is that it is important to have an experienced family law and divorce attorney representing you throughout these proceedings. The Faucette Law Firm represents clients in all divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, modifications and adoptions. If you have a custody related matter we will fight to ensure that your child’s best interest are always front and center. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.