Legal Options When An Ex Won’t Follow The Custody Terms

custody termsQuestion:

My ex-wife refuses to give me the name of our kids’ doctor or any other information regarding their well-being. Are there any legal options I have to compel her to comply with the parenting clause of the divorce?


Philadelphia divorce attorney William Phelan
Philadelphia divorce attorney William Phelan

I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I practice in Pennsylvania, it is common to find custody agreements that are incorporated into a final divorce decree. From your question, it appears there may be custody arrangements incorporated into your divorce order. When the divorce decree is entered, that custody agreement becomes an order as well as the controlling document regarding physical and legal custody of the child.

In Pennsylvania, custody orders generally control both the legal and physical custody terms of the children.

Legal custody entails the ability to make decisions regarding the medical, religious and educational up-bringing of the children. Legal custody can be shared between the parents, and this right is usually outlined in the custody order. Sometimes custody orders are specific and dictate how legal custody and the information related to legal custody is to be shared between the parents.

Yet if one parent is not following the legal custody terms in the order, that parent may be in violation of the order. Sometimes, a discussion with the parent regarding how the order is to be followed will help — simply pointing to the applicable terms in the order will have a change in circumstances and behavior.

However, if a parent continues to not comply with an existing custody order, upon the filing of the proper petition, the court may eventually find that parent in contempt of court. In Pennsylvania, penalties for non-compliance with a custody order can include a fine or imprisonment.

Due to the sensitive nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction, such as Cordell & Cordell, to see how the laws in your state can help you with this serious situation.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Legal Options When An Ex Won’t Follow The Custody Terms

    question what if parent looses job and doesn’t provide insurance any longer …what happens to child in need of medical…no job or no money …who is responsible?

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