Can My Ex Keep Our Son From Playing Sports?

sportsQuestion:

My ex-wife and I share custody of our son and he plays competitive sports on the weekends. This year, she has started to keep him from playing on weekends he stays with her. Our custody order states neither parent shall intrude on his sports.

I am documenting the dates of games missed, but how should I address this issue with the courts?

Answer:

Because I am not licensed in your state and I have not been retained as your attorney, I cannot provide legal advice. However, based on the laws of North Carolina, I can share some general information.

A valid child custody order must be complied with. A party cannot unilaterally decide to stop abiding by the terms of the order. That would constitute a violation of the order. If a party is no longer satisfied with the terms of the child custody order, that party can make a motion to the court to modify the order, provided that there is an adequate changed circumstance.

Generally, when a party willfully violates a child custody order, the aggrieved party can initiate contempt proceedings in court. In North Carolina, the aggrieved party would have to offer sufficient evidence to support a finding that willful violation of the child custody order occurred. Documenting the dates of games missed so far is a great step towards gathering sufficient evidence.

In North Carolina, the court can choose to treat a contempt matter as either a civil contempt or criminal contempt proceeding. The selection will determine what actions the party in contempt would be required to take to purge himself or herself of the contempt or what punishment the court would administer for the contempt.

Depending on the particular facts of your case and the laws of California you may be able to bring a contempt action in court. However, I recommend that you consult with an attorney in your state to further discuss your options.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including North Carolina divorce lawyer, Alicia Phillip, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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