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What to do if a parent does not follow a custody or support order

What to do if a parent does not follow a custody or support order

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When two individuals with a child divorce, then a judge will issue a custody or support order. This order is necessary to resolve the matter of where a child should live, who will be the official caretaker of the child and how often a child should visit a co-parent.

Divorces and separations may be contentious, however, and often one party does not follow the agreement. These tips can help a parent resolve a conflict with minimal expense and worry.

  1. Determine the extent of the problem

For a fair resolution, a parent should get the facts of a situation correct. Common violations of a custody or support order include:

  • One parent refusing to let a child visit the other parent
  • A parent keeping a child in his or her home for longer than the allocated time
  • One parent exposing a child to dangerous situations

Parents who understand the scope of their problem might be able to resolve it efficiently. Instead of resorting to a drastic measure or breaking an order for retaliation, a straightforward conversation might be enough to cool the fire.

  1. Call the police

A parent has a right to contact the police about a situation. A police officer should see a copy of a custody order before taking action. If an issue occurs repeatedly, then the violating party may have to appear in court. He or she may lose custody of the child or spend time in jail.

  1. Modify a child custody or support order

It is possible to file a petition with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requesting changes to a child custody or support order. Parents should prepare to explain why they want to make changes and a response from the other party before a hearing date. During a hearing, a judge decides whether or not to modify an order based on the best interest of the child.

Child custody or support orders are necessary for a child until he or she is 18 years old.