Ask A Lawyer: Could She Be Found In Contempt?



I was granted an ex-parte order to get custody of our two children.  Now my wife is refusing to return the children.  I have even had the police attempt to get them for me, but to no avail. Can she be found in contempt for this?  If she is found in contempt, will the children be taken away from here and given to me for full custody?









The court order should be sufficient to obtain the children if you decide to take that route.  Ohio might have laws making it a crime to withhold children in violation of a court order, so you should check with your local prosecutor for further information.  You should also continue to call the Sheriff for enforcement, as the purpose of the order is to get the children to you. It’s an “order”, not a “suggestion”!  Also, you should continue calling the Sheriff for enforcement as this is an excellent way to document any potential infringements for the court to review.  It is one thing to tell the court that she withheld the children, and another to show actual proof documented by outside sources.




Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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