December 26, 2014 By Paul Wallin
child custody
Have your rights as a father been violated?

When the court issues child custody and visitation orders, parents are expected to follow them. If the other parent disobeys the custody agreement or the visitation schedule approved by the court, there are several measures you can take, depending on the severity of the issue.

The consequences mothers face for violating a father’s rights can be serious and include being ordered to pay attorney’s fees, a jail sentence, and possible loss of custody rights.

Custody Decisions and Custody Violations (California Family Code Section 3000)

When the court makes child custody orders, it is essentially assigning legal guardianship to one or both parents. There are several types of custody defined in California Family Code Sections 3000 -3011, and each is arranged or approved by the court. Custody types include:

  • Joint Custody – parents share the responsibilities of legal and physical custody;
  • Joint Legal Custody – parents are equally responsible for decisions about the child’s welfare, health, and education;
  • Joint Physical Custody – parents each have significant periods of visitation;
  • Sole Legal Custody – one parent is solely responsible for decisions regarding the education, welfare, and health of the children;
  • Sole Physical Custody– the child lives with one parent only.1

A mother could be accused of violating a father’s rights if she fails to uphold her responsibilities to the child or if she interferes with the father’s ability to uphold his responsibilities. The court takes the rights of both parents very seriously, including the right of the father to co-parent his children. California judges do not tolerate it when a parent interferes with the rights and responsibilities of the other parent or damages the relationship between parent and child.

Visitation Rights (California Family Code Section 3100)

Parental visitation rights are also defined in court orders, including the dates and times that parents are able to be with their children. The order may even define transportation of the children and pick-up and drop-off locations.

Parents are encouraged to stick to the schedule as much as possible and to attempt to remain flexible to the needs of the other parent. When parents must deviate from the ordered schedule, it is best to go back to court and have the court order modified legally. If the parents verbally agree on a new schedule and the mother violates that schedule, the father may be unable to have the verbal agreement legally enforced.

How Can a Mother Violate a Father’s Rights?

Some common examples of a mother violating a father’s rights include when the mother:

  • makes the children pass messages to the father or involves them in any custody issues or divorce proceedings in an attempt to interfere with the father’s time with his children;
  • fails to co-parent with the father of the children;
  • ridicules the father to the children or encourages others to do so, in an effort to interfere with the relationship between the children and their father;
  • fails to abide by an established schedule and often makes the father wait on her when picking up or dropping off the children;
  • does not involve the father in important child-rearing decisions when he has joint legal custody of the children;
  • schedules activities during the father’s visitation times preventing him from being able to see the children as much as the visitation schedule allows;
  • accuses the father of child abuse or neglect even though she knows it is not true;
  • fails to allow the father his visitation times because he is behind on child support;
  • moves the children out of the state without the father’s knowledge and/or permission

What Can a Father Do When a Mother Violates His Rights?

If the mother of your child is violating your rights, you should try to communicate with the mother, unless there is a restraining order against you. If so, you should contact an attorney right away. A family law attorney can talk to the other party’s attorney and try to resolve the issue. It is in your best interest to keep a record of the times, dates, and details of each time the mother has violated your rights.

If the mother continues to violate your custody or visitation rights, you can call your local police department to have them enforce the court orders. If the matter involves the mother not giving you access to the children, you can seek help from the Child Abduction Unit of your local district attorney’s office. You should inform your attorney about the situation and any involvement of the law.

You can request that your attorney file a contempt of court action against the mother of the child. A contempt hearing will then be held where the judge will decide if the mother is in violation of the court order. If the court finds this to be true, the court can do any or all of the following:

  • Change the previous custody order to permit the father additional visitation
  • Change the custody order to give the father primary physical custody
  • Change the custody order to give the father sole legal custody
  • Order that the mother have her visits limited to “supervised visits”
  • Hold the mother in contempt of court, which can result in fines or a jail sentence
  • Order the mother to pay the father’s legal fees for having to bring the contempt of court action

Family Law Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you feel that your custodial rights are being violated, it is essential that you contact an experienced child custody attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. We have over 30 years of experience dealing with child custody and visitation violation cases. We have the knowledge and know-how to help you get the best possible result in your case and we can help you preserve your rights.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Tustin, Riverside, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Victorville, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, we are always available wherever you need us.

Call our offices today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.


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