What to Do When Your Ex Refuses to Follow Custody Orders
Alright, so we talked about the initial phases where you don’t have the custody order. What about if you do have a custody and visitation order and she’s refusing to follow it? What are some options you have?
My name is Brian L. Jackson, I’m a Tulsa father’s rights attorney here with Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable. And now we’re going to talk about a scenario where you have the order, it says you get the kids during this period of time, she gets the kids during that period of time, and she’s got the kids and is refusing to let you pick them up and refusing to let them go to your house. How do you deal with that?
The Power of a Motion to Enforce
Well your first and primary weapon in that situation, which is what I’m going to talk about here, is the motion to enforce. Now basically what that is, is it’s a motion you can file under Title 43 that is asking the court to order her to follow its prior order, which sort of sounds redundant but there are some specific types of relief that can be granted under that.
You can be given make up time for any visitation you’ve missed, you can be awarded custody under one of those in an extreme situation, she can be ordered to pay a bond to ensure her compliance with the visitational order. There are a number of options, is the long and short of it. And of course the other thing is if you are successful with a motion to enforce, you can recover attorney’s fees against her. So you could be entitled to get the cost of prosecuting that back.
Statutory Deadlines and Notice of Suspension
The other advantage of the motion to enforce is there are statutory deadlines for when that has to be heard, and it has to be heard within 20 days. Now here’s the thing to be aware of though, if she’s withholding and there are reasons for it, and in Tulsa County one of the things that you will see happen is that sometimes you’ll see what’s called a notice of suspension, and that’s filed pursuant to Title 43 as well, and there is a statute under Title 43 where basically if she has a good faith belief that the children will be endangered in your care, that they’ll be abused or neglected, then she’s not obliged to send them over to you.
Typically what you’re going to run into there is where that type of a notice has been filed and then you file your motion to enforce and then you’re off to court. If she can actually demonstrate a good reason for withholding, you could lose the motion and wind up owing her attorney’s fees, because that is a loser pays situation. Whoever loses pays the other person’s attorney’s fees. For that reason, if you’re going to pursue a motion to enforce, you need a good lawyer, because you want to make sure you don’t lose.
Find a Good Lawyer at Dads.Law
Also, the lawyer’s going to have a good appreciation based on the facts on the ground as to exactly what kind of relief to ask for under the motion, because it opens up a variety of different types of relief as potential options, and understanding your judge and your circumstances is important for the purposes of knowing which of the very many tools in that box are appropriate under the circumstance. So you need a good lawyer is the long and short of it.
One place you can find a good lawyer is at Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable.