At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles child custody lawyers understand that your children are your top priority. We also understand that when parents divorce — or separate if they were never married — child custody arrangements are not always easy to agree on.
Some couples can establish child custody contracts that work for their schedules and the children’s needs by developing a plan that requires little legal oversight.
Other couples must rely on our California Courts to establish a shared parenting plan that puts the best interests of the kids into perspective while the legal process outlines the child custody agreement for the parents when they cannot determine one on their own.
Our Los Angeles County family law attorneys know that no two divorces or child custody requirements are the same, which is why we create customized solutions for each of our clients based on their unique family dynamics, current lifestyles, and future requirements.
Child custody agreements that are approved or dictated by the courts are legally binding.
That means each parent is responsible for upholding their end of the arrangement. When one parent does not uphold their custodial duties, we can help you determine the next steps for enforcing both of your commitments to the children.
What Are the Most Common Parenting Plan Violations in Los Angeles, California?
Some of the most common shared parenting plan violations can include one parent:
- Consistently arriving late for pick-ups or not showing up at all
- Extending their time-sharing hours beyond the agreement and without permission from the other parent
- Refusing to pay their share of expenses, even though all documentation/receipts have been submitted
- Allowing the children to spend time with parties who have been prohibited by the court from visiting them
- Negatively speaking about or attacking the information/comments about the other parent
- Exposing the children to immoral circumstances or dangerous situations
It is important to understand that there is a difference between a perceived parenting plan violation and a legal violation of your parenting plan agreement. For example, if you prefer your children do their homework directly after school, but the other parent allows them to do their homework whenever they want, that is NOT a violation of a child custody agreement.
Likewise, simply because you do not want your ex-spouse’s new partner visiting while the children are in his or her custody, does not mean it violates your court-approved parenting plan when it happens.
Not being able to control the personal details, habits, and circumstances of what happens in the other parent’s home may be frustrating, but it does not mean they are violating the agreement.
If you believe there is illegal or abusive activity taking place in your ex-spouse’s home, that is a very different story. To prove your suspicions, contact our Children’s Attorneys Los Angeles to understand your rights before making allegations against the other parent.
Taking the First Step: Keep Records of The Other Parent’s Behavior or Violations
Child custody orders carry the same legal authority as any other contract and can — and should — be enforced.
However, parents should resist the urge to take the other parent back to court each time there is a minor violation of their child’s custody order.
Demanding a hearing because the other parent is thirty minutes late with the kids will appear irrational and may even work against you during those or future proceedings.
Instead, if you are having trouble with your ex-spouse upholding his or her child custody agreement, keep a written journal of your discussions about being late, not showing up, or any negative behavior that is interfering with your children’s best interests.
Obtaining Evidence to Enforce or Modify California Child Custody Agreements
To enforce or modify your existing child custody agreement before a judge, the court is going to want facts.
Evidence is important in proving your case, which means you cannot simply say that the other parent is constantly making the children late for school. Instead, ask the school for attendance records that prove that it is true.
Creating a record of wrongdoing should apply to the children’s well-being and not things that drive you crazy. Focus on facts that could be or already are interfering with the children’s safety and success.
Once we have gathered the necessary evidence, we will outline your case to seek enforcement of the court-ordered parenting plan or change the agreement to limit the other parent’s involvement to keep the children safe — so you know exactly what to expect when we take your case before a judge.
How Can the Land Legal Group Help with My California Child Custody Case?
If you believe your kid’s other parent is violating the child custody agreement, contact our Los Angeles family law attorneys at the Land Legal Group today by calling (310) 552-3500 to schedule a consultation.
We will evaluate the facts of your case and form the evidentiary requirements necessary to establish contempt and seek the immediate enforcement or modification of your child custody agreement, so you can ensure your children’s safety and success remains the priority.
Frequently Asked Questions about My Ex Violating Our California Child Custody Agreement
What is Considered a Violation of Court Order Child Custody California?
Multiple child custody violations occur throughout California each day, including interference with the other parent’s ability to communicate with their child per the terms of their custody order or vice versa, preventing the other parent from exercising their custody or visitation rights, and denying the other parent their custody or visitation rights due to nonpayment of child support, to name a few. Any instance where one parent is violating the terms of their child custody court order can cause a valid legal issue going forward.
What Happens After a Violation of Custody Order California?
Whenever a parent violates the terms of a custody order, they face severe legal penalties, including contempt of court charges. For contempt of court to result in punishment, an investigation must prove that the parent alleged to violate the court order knowingly and willfully violated the terms of their custody order. The consequences will be decided by the court on a case-by-case basis.
What Voids a Custody Agreement in California?
If a child custody agreement was established in private, during mediation, or divorce litigation, it is legally binding going forward. Parents cannot generally void an existing child custody agreement in California. Instead, parents who are unhappy with an existing child custody agreement must create a modified order and submit it to the court for approval. Until then, the existing child custody order remains valid and must be followed by both parents.
What is a Violation of Visitation Order in California?
If one parent is intentionally violating visitation orders in California, either by not making the kids available for pick up or canceling weekends/days they are with the other parent by making other plans, the aggrieved parent can also file a contempt action in court. The court will order the noncomplying parent to follow the court orders or face civil or criminal penalties, which in the most severe cases can even include jail time. If one parent has visitation hours, days, or weekends on their calendar, he or she is entitled to his or her kids on those days.
Who Is Going to Pay for My California Child Custody Attorneys If I Have to Take My Ex Back to Court?
The person retaining the attorney will be initially responsible for their legal fees. However, if the other parent is blatantly not complying with the child custody agreement, and the other is forced to take him or her to court to rectify it, the judge may require the noncompliant parent to pay the other’s legal fees and court costs.