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Gregory S. Johnson, Attorney at Law
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My ex-partner is violating our child custody order; what do I do?

Many parents in Louisiana are not aware that although they are no longer together, they are forever connected through their kids. Failed relationships and divorce do not excuse them from following the law. No matter how much they may not agree with their child custody agreements, they are legally binding. Failure to follow them can result in legal complications and the loss of visitation rights. 

Parents must understand that the courts try to award custody to the parent that is in a better position to meet the best interests of their children. The judges use many factors to arrive at their decisions. Sometimes parents do not agree with the order of the court and resort to taking things into their own hands by withholding their kids from their other parents. Individuals who intentionally violate child custody orders are possibly committing a crime but are most likely in contempt of court. If you are in a situation where your ex-partner is not honoring their end of the custody order, here are some things you can do. 

Speak to an attorney 

Inform your attorney about your situation. There is a strong possibility your kids' other parent may not realize there are legal ramifications for not abiding by a court-ordered visitation and custody agreement. Your attorney can file a motion with the court asking that the existing judgment be adhered to, and that the other party be held in contempt of court, and punished, including being sent to jail for up to 90 days.

Ask for modification 

Find out why your children's other parent is not following the order. Maybe there is a conflict with their work schedule that they cannot resolve or some other extenuating circumstances. If they are willing to work with you to adjust the schedule so that it is more beneficial to everyone, consider asking the courts for a modification. 

Sometimes there are situations where no matter what you do, the other parent refuses to cooperate. If you find yourself dealing with an uncooperative ex-partner, inform your attorney and the police so that the authorities can step in to facilitate their cooperation.

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