Child Visitation Agreement Enforcement

October 13, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody, Family Court

By James Witherspoon -

In order to maintain the legitimacy of divorce court proceedings, the law is prepared to enforce any violations of settled agreements. In particular, issues involving children can be among the most debated and contentious areas of a divorce, causing an otherwise calm divorce process to become nothing short of nightmarish. When the final arrangements are made by the court, those parties involved must follow the law in regards to these orders or they may face significant legal repercussions.

Custody and visitation agreements are considered legally binding arrangements in the eyes of the law, making any violations potential criminal offenses. Although this is true, civil damages are usually pressed, including punitive changes to the existing custody arrangements and / or monetary damages for suffering.

Criminally, the charges can vary according to the severity of the arrangement violations. In the most extreme situations, a parent may take a child and leave, failing to inform anyone of their location or intention. These circumstances may qualify for certain kidnapping charges or unlawful imprisonment, which carry prison sentences or serious probationary periods. Lesser charges associated with a failure to adhere to court-ordered custody arrangements include procedural violations. Repeated violations may lead to a person being held in contempt of court.

Generally speaking, the most common and immediate penalties for a breach of custody agreements involve parents being reduced or cut out of custodial agreements altogether. If a parent wishes to spend more time with their children, the court offers several methods to modify visitation or custody agreements for those willing to work within the system.

For more information regarding the rights of a parent in terms of custody enforcement, contact a divorce attorney.

If you need help enforcing a child custody arrangement, contact the Austin divorce attorneys of Slater Kennon & Jameson, LLP today.

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Learn How the Category of Child Custody is Determine

By Daniel K. Williams -

One of the pertinent legal questions that arise during a divorce proceeding is regarding child custody. Who has the right to the custody of the child is one of the common issues that you may need to contest. If this is the situation, you need to talk to a competent family lawyer specializing in the field.

Before you consult your lawyer, here is a brief guide about the basics of child custody in Maryland for your help. This knowledge would help you understand the relevant legalities and take necessary action immediately.

Before you gather information about the different categories of child custody, it is better to know two fundamental concepts – physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the residential status of the child. The parent with whom the child lives has the physical custody right.

Legal custody, on the other hand, is about the upbringing of the child. The parent(s) with the right to deciding what is best for the child has the legal custody. It is on this basis on which the categories are determined in Maryland.

Temporary Custody – Before the litigation process begins, the parent with whom the child is living needs to file for temporary custody. This is not any form of legal custody ordered by the court. It is only a temporary settlement until a resolution is reached.

Joint Custody – This is where the parents share the physical and/or legal custody of the child. The court considers this only if there is enough proof that the two partners are capable of agreeing on matters of importance.

Split Custody – This is applicable when there are two children. Each parent is then given full physical custody of one of the kids. However, this is dependent on the question of what is best for the children.

Sole Custody – In case this custody is ordered, only one parent gets the physical as well as the legal custody of the child. The other may or may not be given the right to visitation, as per the directives of the court.

Maryland child custody is based on the ‘best interests of the child’. There are certain factors that help determine what would be best for the child’s present and future. Here are a few of the points of consideration.

• Who takes care of the child? (The parent who takes care of the day-to-day needs of the child has an added advantage)

• What is the character and reputation of the parent? (If one of the parents is a criminal or a drug addict, the other has an increased chance of getting custody)

• Who is financially sound? (This is important because the child needs good upbringing and education)

• How dutiful is the parent? (If any of the parents have ever abandoned the child, it is considered a negative trait)

• Where do they live? (This is important, as this would determine the extent to which the child could be visited by the other parent or the extended family)

Other things that are taken into account to decide on child custody are the age, sex and health of the child, his/her preference (f he/she has reached a suitable age), length of separation, presence of any previous agreements, and such others.

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Child Custody Fathers Rights – Are Fathers Really at a Disadvantage in the Family Court System?

By E Brooks -

There are numerous articles, websites, and organizations that are dedicated to fighting for fathers rights. The common knowledge seems to be that father face an uphill battle and that mothers will always do better in family court than fathers. But are these based on truths or perception, or could something else be going on here?

If you search on fathers rights, fathers custody rights, or any other variation of these terms you will find a listing of websites that will try and tell you that if you are a father you can expect the family court system to fail you miserably. In my experience with fathers seeking a custody order they often start their conversation by capitulating their position and asking how much visitation time they can get if they throw themselves on the mercy of the court.

So imagine how a father who has no representation and simply accepts his fate would be treated by the court system. He would simply take what was given and then perpetuate the notion that the de facto standard is still intact. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

In my experience fathers are at a gender disadvantage when the child is an infant and is still breast feeding. But after that the gender gap narrows considerably. There are still problems that occur more frequently for men than women but they are primarily based on things like routines. If a man is the primary caregiver (as has been dominant in our society) and mother stays home to raise the child, then the court may be reluctant to change the routine. But this issue is about changing the child’s routine and not the gender. This outcome is based on routine an not gender.

What that tells us is that if a man takes the time to educate himself about how the family court system works and applies that knowledge to his own personal strategy, then he stands a great chance of getting the outcome he expects. This is a far cry from the poor man that simply shrugged his shoulders and let the system happen to him.

But what about the man who can’t afford an attorney to represent him? Can he still expect to have a favorable outcome against his ex’s attorney? I believe he can. It takes dedication and time to learn the system but it can be done and the results can be better than you ever imagined. The reason is that if a man handles his own strategy he can take advantage of his intimate knowledge of the case and the ex and exploit that knowledge when the opportunity presents itself.

Want to learn more about high conflict child custody resolution? Receive my brand new series Child Custody “Court Processes and Case Flow”.

Want to learn more about handling Child Visitation issues you can find it here.

Ed Brooks knows firsthand how painful a High Conflict Child Custody battle can be.

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Child Custody – Visitation Rights of Fathers

By Caleb Jonsun

Of all the issues addressed during a divorce, nothing is more important and more emotional than establishing parents’ visitation schedules and rights. Fair or not, mothers are often granted more share time with their children after a divorce. With such broad control of their children’s activities and plans, it is no wonder that many fathers feel as if their hands are tied when it comes to enforcing their visitation rights.

It is unreasonable for either parent to expect the other to adhere to strict time requirements of visitation terms each and every time; one must allow for things such as illness, taking a nap, etc. However, if the mother’s level of control of the children extends unreasonably, so as to interfere with pre-determined visitation schedule, then the father’s visitation rights may have been violated. In the best interest of the children’s welfare, it is of the utmost importance that all parties fully understand and adhere to the visitation rights, as outlined in your divorce decree.

The divorce decree and parenting agreement outlines in detail the father’s visitation rights, and these provisions are the most important things to consider. Fathers have the right to visit their children during the appointed hours, as set forth in the visitation order. Fathers also have the right to plan and schedule activities during this allotted time. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, fathers have the right to be free from their ex-wife’s demands, or threats to retain custody during that time. Fathers’ rights also include getting an injunction to stop the mother from moving and taking the children without proper notice, or moving out-of-state with the children. Fathers may also alert the proper authorities if the mother’s behaviors are interfering with his visitation time. The father may also ask the court to rule on issues not established in the original divorce decree.

Although visitation rights are important for fathers to know, it is equally important for fathers to know what they do not have the right to do. Fathers do not have the right to withhold child support payments if he feels his visitation rights have been violated. Visitation and child support are two separate legal matters. Divorce judges frown upon parents using money as leverage for visitation. Fathers do not have the right to verbally abuse the mother in an attempt to enforce his visitation rights with his children. On the contrary, fathers should exhibit maturity and good judgment, as to maintain his credibility with the court. This is especially important should he decide to expand or modify his visitation rights.

Get the facts about your child visitation rights and find out how Custody X Change can help your child custody case.

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Why Father’s Rights Matter

By Dennis Gac

When you really look into and think about Father’s Rights, it really comes down to what is best for the child. And what is best for the child is equal access to BOTH parents and not a living situation where the children are with one parent all the time while the other is reduced to a visitor in the lives of their own chlidren.

On July 6, 2008, Parade magazine initiated a poll regarding divorced fathers which asks; “Should fathers have equal time with their kids?”

Presently: 62% YES 38% NO

This poll is provocative and encouraging to think about, as it shows that the tide is really turning in the Father’s Rights arena. Our message is getting through, Father’s Rights are important to everyone, not just fathers, and is most beneficial to all children.

Top expert Dr. Warren Farrell ( has carefully studied over a thousand cases during the span of twenty years of children from divorce families, and stated, “It is not about father’s rights, it is not about mother’s rights, it is about the Child’s Right to both halves of itself”. I firmly believe in this statement.

Unfortunately, today’s courts have not inspired a forum in which a divorce can be decided productively in a caring and healing manner. The job of any divorce attorney is to insight conflict and they usually try to drag out the proceedings until someone runs out of money or just gives up. This is all at the expense of the child who never asked for the divorce in the first place. The child is dragged into it, used as pawns by the mother to gain an advantage in family court for custody and other “rewards” such as high alimony payments. Unfortunately, the real victim is the child.

I have worked with literally hundreds of fathers from across the United States and in several other countries as well for the past two decades. For many years it has been an uphill battle, but it feels as though there is more to look forward to than ever. More and more people are going our cause and have come to realize that fathers are extremely important in the lives of their children. If you are a father just beginning his struggle, know that you are not alone. There is literally a Brotherhood our there where you can get all the information you need and who have experienced everything that you are feeling and going through. E-mail

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Father’s Rights in Child Support and Child Custody

By Sarah Dillon

What may seem fair isn’t always how things work. Luckily, there are many aspects of child support that are federally mandated and each state has different laws in regard to a father’s rights in child support.

Child support is granted when one parent becomes the custodian. The other parent will be granted visitation rights and schedules will be set up by the court systems in your jurisdiction. These arrangements are legally binding. Many fathers may experience trouble with the mother granting the visitation as outline and will withhold child support as a form of retaliation. Unfortunately, this is not the way to go about this. If you pay child maintenance and are not being granted your rightful visitation, you should contact the courts or an attorney to settle the matter legally. In the meantime, paying your court ordered child support is mandatory. Keep in mind that non-payment of court ordered child support can lead to punitive conditions such as jail time.

Each state is required by federal law to mandate a schedule of calculating how much child support should be paid. Essentially, this figure is devised by using your earnings, the cost of raising your child, the number of children in question as well as any special needs that the child may have. If the mother is the custodial parent, her ability or lack thereof in supporting the children can also be used. This is why it is up to you to offer as much accurate information as possible in order to have child maintenance payments that are affordable. A father’s rights in child support do not change should you lose your job or become laid off; and any changes to the frequency or amount have to be filed by both parents within the court system.

Another aspect of father’s rights in child maintenance is to collect it himself should he be the custodial parent. There are many fathers that automatically assume the mother will be granted full custody of the children so they do not fight. If you have any reason to believe that your spouse is not equipped to handle the children, it is your right as the birth father to take matters into your own hands. Your best advice is to remain as willing to communicate as possible and avoid moving out of state during custody hearings. There are many fathers who pay child support only to have their ex move the children out of state. Because this is so common, your father’s rights have been safeguarded by federal laws which require a parent to meet several guidelines before just moving a child away from you. Again, you must continue your payment schedule.

If you are having problems asserting your fathers rights in child custody situations or feel that your child’s mother is breaching the contract, it may be a good idea to hire a mediator to work with the two of you. Attorneys strongly recommend that fathers maintain accurate records and paper trails of all child support paid (or received) and that no blasé agreements are entered into without court intervention and documentation. This is a simple way to protect your self and with the help of a mediator can produce binding changes to child support, custody or visitation rights. It is common practice for the mediator to be called upon by the Judge to offer recommendations based on their impartial experiences with you and your child’s mother.

Learn more about a fathers custody rights and child custody laws at

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The Essential Guide to Fathers Rights

Editor’s Note: For more information on Father’s Rights go to

By Jonathan Masterton

As a father of two young children, and someone who has been through a very acrimonious divorce, and who has had to deal with (and is still dealing with) a bitter ongoing contact dispute with my ex where I have been denied contact with my children and have faced false allegations of violence and abuse against me, I want to use my experiences constructively and help other devoted fathers faced with the same situation.

When I first separated five years ago I searched for as much information as I could find on fathers rights. Back then there was hardly any information directed at fathers and our needs and what was out there wasn’t very good. Then a close friend of mine recommended a legal handbook specifically written for fathers to me which he had discovered on the internet and written by a former family law specialist who gave up her career as a family lawyer to write and research her book and to actively campaign for loving and devoted fathers rights to have contact with their children. I thought it was very interesting that a woman should write a book for men and I was curious to read it.

I have to say that the guidance and information in the book was enormously helpful to me – I’ll explain why in my review of the book in a moment – and since then I have purchased the fully revised and expanded second edition of the book which in my opinion is even better than the first because it contains additional sections on key subjects of relevance for fathers such as paternity; civil partnerships; grandparents; the separate representation of children; litigants in person; disclosure, confidentiality and publicity and appeals.

What I want to give you is a straightforward review of the book so you can decide for yourself whether this is a book which would be useful to you:

o The first thing you notice about the book is that it’s compact (160 pages) and that every page is jam-packed with detailed information. This book contains no fillers. It’s solid information. I understand that the author wanted the book to be a handbook which fathers could take with them to court etc so the size was a factor she considered when the book was produced.

o The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 deals with the family, and the effects of separation on children and fathers; Part 2 deals with the current law, the workings of the family court system and recent important changes. Part 3 deals with the issue of reform and considers proposals for change.

o The book is divided into 19 chapters. Part 1 entitled Family Matters (Chapters 1-5) deals with the importance of fathers and our role, discusses ways of trying to reduce conflict after a break-up and how to resolve issues amicably including mediation and counselling; covers what to do about telling the children and how they might react and their wishes.

o Really positive information is provided about how to maintain a role in our children’s lives post-separation, how to deal with new partners and contact with grandparents and other members of the extended family, and there are useful pointers in how to deal with our exes. I found all the advice very helpful to me. I feel that the author really understands the problems and empathizes with us as well as telling how it is.

o Part 2 entitled The Law (Chapters 6 – 17) is really well-written, clear and easy to follow. The author starts with outlining the law and legal system, explains the court system and process; she then deals with how to find a good solicitor. I particularly liked this chapter! She then goes on to deal extensively with paternity, parental responsibility, child arrangements for divorcing fathers, unmarried fathers, civil partners and step-fathers and explains the whole court process in depth right from the commencement of proceedings through to final judgment in understandable terms.

o She breaks information down into bite-sized chunks which is easy to absorb. She simplifies complex legal points and she also uses case-studies from her own experiences within the law and her research to further explain points and to demonstrate how the law works in different scenarios.

o There are separate chapters on the representation of children and litigants in person and McKenzie Friends, disclosure, confidentiality and publicity, residence, contact, emergency procedures and appeals. She also deals with Child Support and the Human Rights Act 1998.

o Part 3 covers reform and pressure for change and recommendations for a way forward.

The book has helped me because it has given me a greater understanding of the law and fathers’ rights, legal procedure, how to deal with my ex and how to progress my case both inside and outside court. It also saved me a lot of money on lawyers’ fees because it also gave me the confidence to represent myself in court when necessary. I know that I would have had to pay thousands of pounds for the advice I’ve had from this book. What I really like about the book is the way it is structured. The fact that every chapter is broken down into sections and the author really explains everything so clearly is what makes the book so good. The author has a very easy writing style and you really feel that she has a true understanding of a father’s dilemma, and that she cares about this subject and us.

So what are my final thoughts on this book? Well, it won’t solve 100% of your problems but that has more to do with my ex and the law than the quality of the book! It has certainly enabled me to go a good way to resolving my problems. All in all this book is an invaluable resource so do check it out for yourself.

Jonathan Masterton is a father who has struggled to maintain contact with his children post divorce. For details of the legal handbook for fathers reviewed here please go to

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Fathers Visitation Rights in Divorce Cases

By Justin DiMateo

The visitation rights of non-custodial fathers should be discussed with a licensed family law attorney. Each divorce may present unique circumstances, which may lead to different agreements regarding custody and visitation. The family law court has a say in the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent and acts in the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation.

There are two types of custody that must be determined in cases of divorce. Legal custody refers to who makes the important decisions in the child’s life such as education, religion and healthcare. In many cases, the court will reward joint legal custody to both parents so that they both have a right to make these decisions.

Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with. Just because sole physical custody is granted to one parent doesn’t mean the non-custodial parent does not have the right to visit their child. The judge and the parents will often work out a schedule for visitation for the non-custodial parent. In many cases this may include the right to see the child on the weekend or every other weekend, although this may vary greatly on a case by case basis.

In some cases, joint physical custody will be granted. When this is the case, the child will spend a fair amount of time with both parents. Determining which scenario is in the best interests of the child is the goal of the family law judge in determining custody and visitation.

Both parties are encouraged to obtain court orders granting custody and visitation rights. Without court orders, it may become more difficult to exercise one’s visitation or custody rights. Those seeking further information regarding visitation and custody are encouraged to speak with a family law attorney. This is usually the best resource for information regarding family law matters including the visitation rights of divorced fathers.

Justin writes on many topics and agrees that you would be best helped by getting in touch with an experienced and professional Father’s Rights Lawyer in your area. For people with a California Divorce Assistance involving children, visit the offices of Diefer Law Group

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