Can a parent be held in contempt of court for violating a court ordered visitation?

UPDATED: Jan 2, 2011

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Can a parent be held in contempt of court for violating a court ordered visitation?

I was ordered to see my son on 01/03/11 from 10 to 2. However, his mother would not let me see him. What could I do to have more time with him?

Asked on January 2, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a parent could be held in contempt of court for violating court-ordered visitation.  The court could impose civil and/or criminal penalties for violation of a court order.

As for having more time with your son, you could file an Order to Show Cause (court form) on which you would request a modification of visitation.  When you file the Order to Show Cause with the court, the court will set a date for a hearing on your request for a modification of visitation.  With the Order to Show Cause, you would also file an Application for Order and Supporting Declaration.  The supporting declaration would state your reasons under penalty of perjury for a modification of visitation.  All of these documents (Order to Show Cause, Application for Order and Supporting Declaration) would be filed with the court with a proof of service.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing these documents to your ex-wife.  The date you sign the proof of service should be the same date as the date of mailing and the same date you file it with the court.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it would just say that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless specified otherwise to ________ (name and address of your ex-wife) on _______ (date).  You sign the proof of service at the bottom under penalty of perjury.

It would be advisable to check with the court clerk regarding the names of the forms you will need because your state might use different names for the forms I have mentioned.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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