Violation of a custody order is an extremely serious matter. If you’re under a Nevada child custody order, failing to follow the order can have significant consequences. you encounter difficulties complying with a custody order or the other parent doesn’t follow the order, the best approach is to talk with a Nevada child custody lawyer at the earliest possible time.
Las Vegas family law attorney Joseph Gersten helps clients with issues relating to child custody, including compliance with custody orders. In the discussion that follows, he explains what can happen if you don’t follow a Nevada custody order and why talking with an attorney is the best strategy for addressing problems with a child custody order. At The Gersten Law Firm, your initial consultation is always free, so you can talk with us without cost or obligation.
If a parent doesn’t follow the terms in a Nevada court’s custody order, the other parent has several options. The best way to proceed depends on the circumstances.
One option involves initiating a custody enforcement action in court. If a party to the custody order files a motion to enforce custody and visitation, the judge will hold a hearing to gather the facts. The court may issue an order requiring compliance, including additional time with a parent to make up for time missed during non-compliance with the order.
If there is an emergency and a parent wishes to have the child returned immediately, the judge can issue a pickup order awarding sole custody to the parent temporarily. For law enforcement to retrieve a child, they usually require a pickup order from the court before they will enforce a custody order.
A parent may also ask the judge to hold the parent who is violating the order in contempt of court. A contempt request usually results in two hearings, one on the motion and a second one on the contempt charge. If the judge finds a parent in contempt, penalties may include a fine or jail time, or both.
If you are a parent with a custody order that the other parent violates, you should take action immediately to address the violation. Delaying action could adversely affect court proceedings on another violation in the future. The best course to follow is to contact a knowledgeable child custody lawyer to discuss the options that are available.
A parent who fails to follow a custody order also may face criminal charges under NRS 200.359. The statute is complex and has detailed provisions relating to conduct that constitutes a criminal offense under the section. The prosecutor can file charges as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The judge has authority to issue an arrest warrant for a child custody violation if specific requirements are met.
Depending on the circumstances, a person who violates a custody order may be charged with other criminal offenses as well. Representation by a criminal defense attorney is essential for any criminal charge relating to violation of a custody order.
In addition to facing civil and criminal proceedings for failing to abide by an order, a parent who violates a custody order may face other consequences affecting their parental rights. Potential additional effects depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the violation and the nature of future proceedings relating to custody.
In some circumstances, a judge may modify the terms of the custody order as a result of the parent’s failure to comply with the original order. Modification of the order requires a separate court proceeding. As in all child custody matters, the court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. If a parent’s failure to abide by the terms of a custody order affects the child’s interests, the judge may determine that the terms of the order should change.
A parent who fails to abide by the terms of a child custody order may also face problems if the parent eventually asks the court for permission to relocate the child. Prior violations of the custody order could lead to denial of the request to relocate.
Whether you are the parent who fails to abide by a custody order or a parent coping with the consequences of a violation by the other party to the order, representation by an experienced child custody lawyer is extremely important. There are multiple avenues through which a violation can be addressed. For the parent who violates the order, the penalties and impacts can be extensive and severe. For the other parent, options for addressing the violation must be carefully evaluated to determine the best way to proceed under the circumstances.
At The Gersten Law Firm, we assist clients with all matters relating to child custody, including violation of a custody order. Experienced family law attorney Joseph Gersten understands the sensitivity and emotional aspects of child custody for parents. He approaches every family law case with compassion and understanding, as well as dedication to protecting the interests and rights of the client.
The Gersten Law Firm does not charge for your initial consultation. We serve clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, and elsewhere in Clark County. Call us at 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.