In our last post, we began looking at what types remedies a court can order when a parent is found to have violated a parenting time order. As we noted, there are a variety of possible remedies, including holding the offending parent in contempt of court. This, again, can result in additional sanctions.
State law mentions several possibilities available to the court when a party is held in contempt for violating a parenting time order. One is that a parent may have his or her driving privileges suspended until he or she comes into compliance. If this occurs, limited driving privileges may be ordered for a time.
Another possibility is placement of the offending parent on probation with the obligation to abide by certain conditions. The conditions vary according to what the court sees as appropriate to ensure compliance with the parenting time order in each case. A court may also, in some cases, place the offending parent in imprisonment for a period of time, but no more than six months. In such cases, the court may allow the party to be released for periods of time for business or work purposes. A court may also find that the offending parent is guilty of a petty offense and subject the parent to a find that is no more than $500.
In summary, courts take violation of a parenting time order seriously and courts do have the ability to punish a parent for failing to abide by the terms of an agreement. Those who are currently dealing with a parent who will not obey a parenting time order should work with an experienced attorney to determine their options going forward. Likewise, parents who have been accused of violating a parenting time order should also work with an experienced advocate to ensure their rights and interests are advocated in court.