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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    28

    Default Custodial Parent's Rights When Non-Custodial Parent Doesn't Follow Custody Orders

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: MN/CA

    Hello there - I had posted (a rambling long back history) previously but I'll do my best to keep this one short.

    Background: Ex and I have a 6 year old. Divorced in MN. With ex's permission, child and I moved out of the state (when child was 4) and now reside in CA. Due to history of ex's refusal to follow the visitation schedule, I've given in a lot as far as modifying pick-up times (to later) and drop-off times (to earlier) as he was a bartender and would not take his visitation weekends off - ever. I used to have to remind him on a weekly basis to provide his schedule to me so that I could arrange for his visitation to occur. After we had moved, he refused to follow the amended decree's SKYPE video visitation scheduling (he was supposed to provide available times and we'd agree on a time together) because he wanted it whenever he wanted it, not when it worked out for us. He then filed a motion against me citing Contempt of the Court - after reviewing all my evidence that showed that he violated the court order by harassing me via email, verbal abuse, etc., the judge ordered that if he does not follow the court's orders (i.e. no email unless regarding SKYPE), he would not be getting visitation that week, he can try again the next week... and so forth. After losing this case, he simply didn't even bother asking for SKYPE. (He had asked for SKYPE twice prior to that for 2 years.)

    NOW: He has now moved to CA - he's been here for at least 3 months. He said he would "ease back into" our daughter's life. I sent him an email reminding him of the visitation agreement set forth prior to our move should this scenario occur - he's to provide his work schedule as before, gets 2 weekday afternoons with our daughter as long as he has those days off and every other weekend between 10am-7pm each weekend day. He does not get overnights due to alcohol-related incidents. I told him to let me know via mail when he would like to start visitation and that, since he is no longer in need of SKYPE visitation, I was banning his email address. (There had been numerous violations to the judge's order, i.e. emails that were of hostile nature, that had nothing to do with parenting issues.)

    So we heard nothing for the past 3 months except for sightings at bars. (We live in a very small town.) Then he send a letter saying he'll see our daughter next weekend. Not he will start seeing her - but that he's picking that random weekend to see her (he was responding to my email notification of her school change to a private school, that he did not have to contribute but should he think it's his right, he can - he's weird about "rights", he didn't want me teaching our daughter how to bicycle because it's a "dad's right") and that he's still looking for work.

    Two things - 1) there are already plans for that weekend and 2) I am reluctant to set a precedence in which he thinks he can go around the visitation schedule. I offered him a few hours on one of the days, letting him know that I was moving some plans around to make this happen, and that I'd prefer a drop off in front of the police station since we've never had a drop-off or pick-up that didn't involve his getting aggressive physically (grabbing our daughter out of the car as I am coaxing her to come out - she's scared of him for a good reason due to drunken verbal abuses she's witnessed - and I always tell her that this is something she has to do and that she'd have fun, but his grabbing her does not help the situation).

    Now he's sent a response back stating that he is going to take her the weekend after as well since I'm only giving him 3 hours, that he is going to make me do all the drop-offs and pick-ups in front of the police station (which wouldn't work for school day ones), and that he, too, will ban my email address (email is MY allowed mode of communication - his privilege was taken away by the judge after numerous evidences of violations).

    At this point: What are my legal obligations? Should I allow him to see her whenever he feels spiteful (he's told me that he didn't want that much visitation anyway - he only fought me to make me "pay") or do I have legal standing in insisting that he has to follow the visitation scheduling procedures per our decree? I don't want to be seen as someone who's trying to deny visitation - I want him to set up a regular visitation so that our daughter can get accustomed to it as a regular thing, not something to dread each time it happens randomly.

    I have sent him an email, yet again reminding him to read the decree and set up a visitation schedule. He's unemployed with all kinds of free time! Is there more I'm supposed to be doing, legally speaking? I've spent last 4 years since our divorce explaining every single aspect of our divorce decree to him because he won't read the dang thing! I've even begged his parents to either explain it to him or have him hire a lawyer to explain it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    25,186

    Default Re: Legal Obligation on Cp's Part when Ncp Doesn't Want to Follow Court's Orders

    You only have to abide by your most current court order.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Legal Obligation on Cp's Part when Ncp Doesn't Want to Follow Court's Orders

    Thank you for such a quick response!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    25,186

    Default Re: Legal Obligation on Cp's Part when Ncp Doesn't Want to Follow Court's Orders

    You're very welcome

    I know how hard and frustrating this can be - but really, the only legal obligation you have is to abide by your orders right now.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Legal Obligation on Cp's Part when Ncp Doesn't Want to Follow Court's Orders

    (Sorry to be sappy but...) THANK YOU for your kind words, I think I got a little teary-eyed there.

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