Child custody disputes can be incredibly challenging for any parent in Springfield, but some parents do not try to be as involved in their children’s lives as other parents. Some parents repeatedly fail to uphold their parental responsibilities, such as meeting for custody exchanges or making child support payments on time. While honest mistakes and unpredictable emergencies can happen at any time, any willful violation of a lawful family court order can have severe consequences, especially for a custody order.
There are only two methods of legally deviating from a child custody order in the state. The first is through mutual agreement of the parents. If an unexpected issue has arisen for either parent and they need a one-time adjustment to their parenting schedule, the parents should be able to work out a simple resolution for this type of issue. If they cannot, or if more expansive changes to their family court order are necessary, a court order will be necessary, and both parents have the right to speak on the issue.
Ultimately, any intentional violation of a custody order in Springfield is a very serious issue, and you should not delay in seeking legal counsel if you have experienced anything like this from your co-parent. Whether you have recently experienced an acute and severe violation of your custody agreement or your ex has displayed a pattern of noncompliance with the order, you should consult a Springfield family lawyer to discuss these issues.
Commonly Reported Custody Order Violations
While divorced parents may have arguments about their respective parenting styles and other aspects of raising their children, some issues can be resolved between the parents, while others demand the attention of the family court. Some of the most commonly cited parenting plan violations in the Springfield area include the following:
- Failure or refusal to pay child support on time and in full.
- Failure or refusal to adhere to a custody exchange schedule.
- Failure to provide for a child’s basic living needs.
- Evidence of abuse or neglect while in the other parent’s care.
- Failure to communicate major decisions for a child with the other parent as required.
When a parent intentionally violates their custody agreement, they risk contempt and the associated penalties. In the event you are beholden to a family court order’s terms that are no longer tenable due to a major recent change in your life beyond your control, you can request changes to your family court order that more accurately reflect your circumstances.
Understanding the Modification Process
The modification process is a valuable and straightforward tool a parent can use to request changes to a standing family court order. Life can present unpredictable challenges at any time, and modifying your family court order in response to life’s surprises may be an unavoidable challenge that will be much easier to face with an experienced attorney.
To modify your court order, you must submit a petition explaining your desired change and the reasoning behind it. The court will schedule a hearing, and your proposed changes could be implemented right away if the judge deems them both fair and reasonable. If you are suddenly left unable to comply with your parenting plan for any reason, do not risk the penalties of noncompliance and seek an attorney’s help instead. They may be able to help you modify your family court order, and you will also need an attorney’s help if you must hold your co-parent responsible for their misconduct.
Q: What Should I Do If I Believe My Co-parent Is a Danger to Our Kids?
A: If you believe your children are in imminent danger, call 911 to report the issue to the police. Otherwise, if you have other concerns about your children’s safety while they are in your co-parent’s custody, it is very important to raise these concerns with an experienced Springfield family law attorney. Then, the court can remove your co-parent’s custody rights and put other legal protections in place to keep your children safe.
Q: Do I Need to Hire a Springfield, MO, Family Lawyer to File Contempt Proceedings?
A: There is no legal obligation to hire an attorney if you need to file contempt proceedings against your co-parent for any reason in Springfield. However, the right attorney can significantly improve the chances of you seeing the results you hope to secure from your filing. Contempt of court can compel your co-parent’s compliance and may also result in penalties depending on the scope and severity of their behavior.
Q: What Are the Penalties for a Child Custody Order Violation in Springfield?
A: When a judge oversees any case involving a custody order violation, they have discretionary power to implement the penalties they deem most appropriate. For example, if the issue is nonpayment of support, the at-fault parent could be held in jail until they repay what they owe, or the judge may order wage garnishment to ensure compliance with their support order. In severe cases, involuntary termination of parental rights can be the response to any type of domestic abuse and/or child abuse.
Q: Can a Parent Who Has Lost Parental Rights Ever Regain Custody?
A: A parent may lose custody rights due to severe and/or repeated violations of their child custody order, an advanced substance abuse disorder, an incurable mental illness, or a criminal record of violent offenses. If a parent has lost custody because a judge has deemed them unfit to be a parent, or if they have lost custody rights they have previously held due to the severity of their misconduct, it is virtually impossible for them to ever regain any measure of lost custody or visitation rights.
It can be daunting to face a complex contempt hearing or a modification petition in the Springfield family court, but the right attorney is an invaluable lifeline in this situation who can offer peace of mind and reassurance when you need it most. Reach out to legal counsel you can trust in Springfield if you have experienced any recent problems with your custody order and aren’t sure how to resolve them on your own.