Child looking backThis is the next post in our series on the handling of child custody cases which involve supervised visitations. The last article discussed what parents should expect from the process of supervised visits. It is important to understand that the judge will clearly define the terms of supervision and the court’s orders are to be followed. Failing to follow the court’s orders could lead to problems for the offending party. In this article we will discuss the importance of utilizing the legal process, and not resorting to “self-help,” if you believe that your child is in danger. If you have questions then contact our office today to speak with a child custody attorney.

It is not uncommon for a parent to be convinced that their counterpart is failing to provide a safe environment for the child or children. Unfortunately such parents often resort to self-help as a means of solving the situation. By this I mean that such a parent may start to blatantly ignore the court’s current visitation order and withhold visitation from their counterpart. Engaging in such conduct can have the opposite effect of such a parent’s wishes. The court will likely view the situation as one where the withholding parent is trying to frustrate their counterpart’s ability to have a relationship with the child. Depending on the specific facts of the case, a judge may even order that the other parent would then receive custody of the child. These are just some of the reasons why it is important to not engage in self-help and withhold visitation.

If you believe that your child is in immediate danger then you should contact the police. If there is not an imminent threat then it best to speak with a family law attorney in order to determine whether it is appropriate to make a complaint to Child Protective Services. If the circumstances warrant it then counsel can also assist in filing an emergency motion to change child custody. Whether or not the court will grant an immediate hearing will always depend on the specific facts of the case. Immediate court hearings will typically involve cases where there is alleged drug use, alleged abuse of the child, or other circumstances which demonstrate an imminent threat to the child’s safety. If there is not immediate danger then the court will likely schedule a motion hearing in the normal course of its calendar.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer regarding changing child custody. We are experienced in handling such matters and our office is ready to assist you.