Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

Why can't I just have the police help enforce parenting time?

It is unfortunate reality that many couples, for many different reasons, have ongoing conflict after they separate. This conflict may spill over in to issues about their children and, in the worst cases, the end result could be a parent taking matters in to their own hands by depriving the other parent their rightful custody and visitation.

The first instinct another parent may have is simply to contact the local authorities to see what they can do to get their custody or visitation rights restored. Indeed, California criminal law prohibits parents from violating custody and parenting time orders, meaning that if a parent chooses to ignore a court's orders, he or she could have a criminal conviction to deal with.

However, these laws have important limitations. For one, as criminal laws, it takes a lot to legally prove that a parent "maliciously" interfered with custody or parenting time, which is what the law requires. Moreover, a parent can defend against this charge by making some credible claim that he or she feared for the child's physical or emotional safety.

Police may be able to help with ugly custody disputes in the most serious cases, but in the vast majority of situations, a parent is going to be left enforcing a custody or parenting order by returning to court and asking the court to hold the other parent in contempt. While this can be a very effective means of enforcing child custody and parenting time orders, it is still a good idea to have the assistance of an experienced Orange County family law attorney.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
625 The City Drive South
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Orange, CA 92868
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