Back-to-School Can Bring Custody Challenges for Parents

Most New York children will soon be back in school. Sleeping in, staying up late, and having fun excursions are replaced with strict schedules, homework, and extracurricular activities.

Back-to-school time also means custody challenges for co-parents. When schedules suddenly shift, parents and kids alike can struggle to adjust. Everyone typically finds their new equilibrium within a few weeks. When that does not happen, an attorney from the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC can help parents enforce court orders.

Maintain Flexibility at the Start of the School year

The first time a parent does not drop off or pick up a child on time is not usually the time to declare war. Custody schedules for many families are different during the school year than in the summer. Children are not the only ones getting re-accustomed to being back in the classroom. Parents also have to adjust their work and other schedules to accommodate the changes that school brings.

Talk about Custody Infractions

When a violation occurs, the parents should address what happened. The violation might have been a simple oversight, but discussing what happened can help prevent it from occurring in the future. A conversation also puts the parents on notice that ongoing disregard for the agreement will not be tolerated. Discuss the issue calmly. Berating the other parent can backfire and negatively impact the children.

These informal conversations often do the trick. Conducting the conversation by email or text will help memorialize what was discussed and can be used later in court if the need arises.

Consider Modifying the Custody Agreement

What worked last school year may be ineffective now. Modifying a custody agreement is necessary as needs shift. When children change grades or schools is a good time to reevaluate the arrangement. As children get older, their responsibilities and activities often increase. Teens might get a part-time job or volunteer in preparation for applying for college.

Our attorneys can explain the modification process and what constitutes grounds to make a change.

Contemplate a Contempt of Court Filing

Violating a custody order is breaking the law. Police can become involved in egregious cases like parental kidnapping. Not all offenses rise to that level, but other legal consequences are possible. The injured parent’s attorney can file a motion for contempt of court.

A court hearing is scheduled where both sides present their cases. Witnesses can be called, and other evidence presented.

The wronged parent presents evidence to the court:

  • How the parenting plan was violated
  • How the offending parent purposely violated the order
  • How the offending parent was given the opportunity to correct their behavior
  • Why the co-parent should be found in contempt

There are several potential consequences if the judge determines the parent is guilty of contempt:

  • The other parent can be awarded sole custody.
  • Court-supervised visitation is ordered for the offending parent.
  • Criminal charges can be filed.
  • A jail sentence and fines are possible.

We can build a strong argument to improve your chances of victory in the contempt action.

Fight Against Custody Violations

Do not allow your ex to repeatedly violate custody and visitation orders. Our firm has the experience to compel the other parent to comply with the established agreement or go to court to seek a modification or contempt of court.

If you are wronged by infractions to your custody agreement, speak with a skilled attorney at the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr. LLC. Contact us online or call (845) 605-4330.

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