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Don't mess with a visitation order and an angry mama.
Darius McCrary, of Family Matters fame, recently took his son on a father-son Spring Break Trip and stayed too long. The son's mother, Elizabeth Alanoly, filed an emergency motion with the court after McCrary didn't return his son on time per the visitation order. When McCrary returned he was smacked with a bench warrant for his arrest. McCrary reportedly had to post a $15,000 bond to get the warrant cleared.
Just last month, McCrary was arrested for being behind on child support payments and was reported to have been ordered to pay $5,500.
Too often, visitation arrangements are contentious, and parents don't always follow the court's visitation order as they should. Common visitation problems include the custodial parent withholding visitation, the non-custodial parent doesn't pick up the child for visitation, or a parent doesn't pay child support. How does a parent enforce his or her rights?
Contempt of Court
When the other parent consistently violates a court order by withholding visitation or not paying child support, you may want to consider having your attorney file a contempt of court motion. A contempt of court motion asks the judge to punish the other parent for violating a court order. Parents found in contempt of court may be ordered to pay a fine or sentenced to jail for a short time.
Other consequences for violating a custody or visitation order could include losing parental rights previously granted, suspension of your driver's license, or even more visitation time to the other parent.
In some states, it's also a crime to withhold visitation or interfere with the parental rights of another person.
For example, Michigan's Penal Code section 750.350a states, "[A] parent of a child shall not take that child, or retain that child for more than 24 hours, with the intent to detain or conceal the child from any other parent ... who has custody or parenting time rights under a lawful court order."
Visitation and custody orders are already hard on kids. Don't make it any harder on your children by violating those orders.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.