Do I have just cause to file for an ex parteif my child’s father refuses to pay more support, and threatens to avoid contact with child, etc?

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Do I have just cause to file for an ex parteif my child’s father refuses to pay more support, and threatens to avoid contact with child, etc?

I have a court order that states his obligations to daughter. My daughter has been in my care since birth, and she is 11 now. She sees her dad every other weekend, about 4 times a month. When asked to help with our rent this month for the first time in 11 years, he got angry and started to threaten me and to avoid his child until I take him back to court. He also started talking about his anger for me in the past. The last time he acted like this, he was absent from her life for a year in 2006. I just want consistency of a father figure for her.

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In all courts, child support and child visitation are two wholly separate issues. The usual situation is the parent who doesn't get support threatens to withhold the child from the visiting parent. So in your situation he refuses to pay support and refuses to see her. I suppose you could go to court to enforce visitation but you have to consider the impact it will have on your child if her father tells her the court is forcing him to see her. It is an issue you need to discuss or should discuss with your family lawyer or if you comfortable, with a mediator. As to the support issues, you can take him to court to file a contempt motion and usually depending upon how much he is in arrears, the prosecutor's office may get involved under its "dead beat" dad division to help in garnishing his wages or taking him to court for criminal violations. Talk to your family law attorney before you move forward so that you are prepared for what could come next (including bringing your child in for deposition for her wishes). Good luck to you and make sure you keep on eye on the court's goal -- to protect the child.


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