Once a court order for custody and visitation has been entered all parties
to the agreement are mandated by the Courts to follow those orders. Should
one party violate the order, a petition alleging a violation can be brought
before the Courts. As part of this Violation Petition the Court has the
power to enforce the agreement or make changes to the custody and visitation petition.
For instance, if one parent is continually frustrating another parent’s
ability to engage in their parenting time against the terms of an order,
a violation petition can be brought. Anytime a violation petition is brought
a party should also bring a petition for a Modification of Custody. The
Courts have consistently ruled that a parent who interferes with another
parent’s access and right to visitation with a child is deemed to
not be fit to be the custodial parent. This is true in the most dire of
circumstances where changes have been made to the Order to ensure that
future violations do not take place in the past or where violations continue
despite repeated attempts to rectify the situation through court intervention.
It is always important to remember that a custody order is not a suggestion
unless the parties mutually agree to modify the terms of the order and
language in the order permits them to do so. Without language in the order
that parties may modify the terms of the order by mutual agreement the
parties MUST follow the terms that are put forth.