If you recently completed a divorce or child custody case in Omaha, it’s natural to have trouble adjusting to the terms of your order and your new reality. Co-parenting can be incredibly difficult when there is deep personal friction between the parents. When divorced parents do their best to separate their personal problems from their responsibilities as parents, their children benefit the most. If you are having trouble dealing with your co-parent after finalizing a divorce and/or custody case, a few best practices may improve the situation and help you effectively address any violations of your family court order from your co-parent.
When an Omaha family court judge issues a child custody order, the parents are legally required to abide by the terms of the order to the letter. A custody determination will result in a legal custody decision, and the judge will determine whether both or just one parent is fit to make major decisions for their child. The judge must also decide on physical custody, which establishes the child’s residency. Any violation of a custody order or parenting plan approved by an Omaha family court judge carries severe penalties.
Most Common Co-parenting Disputes
All custody determinations fall to the discretion of the family court judges assigned to these cases. When a co-parent repeatedly violates their custody order, this can lead to various penalties, and it is possible for disputes to arise regarding major decisions for the child. When parents share legal custody and the right to make such decisions, they could reach an impasse. Some of the most common problems newly divorced parents face with their custody orders are:
- Schedule disruptions. When parents share physical custody and alternate time with their kids, they are expected to arrive for custody exchanges on time. While a few minutes of lateness occasionally shouldn’t be cause for dispute, persistent and substantial failures to meet for custody exchanges and other disruptions to a child’s schedule can easily generate heated disputes.
- Support payments. Nonpayment of support or persistent incidents of late or incomplete payments can potentially lead to contempt of court and significant financial penalties against the paying spouse.
- Parental alienation, a term used to define any incident in which a parent prevents their co-parent from contacting their child in violation of their family court order. If a parent attempts to relocate with their child in violation of a custody order, this offense could escalate to parental kidnapping, and there are various international laws that could come into play if a parent illegally takes a child out of the country.
- Domestic violence. While some divorced parents only contend with relatively mild conflicts regarding custody, some disputes may escalate into a physical altercation. If you experience any form of domestic violence, you should call the police immediately to report the incident and speak with an Omaha family law attorney as soon as possible.
When both of a child’s parents are willing to compromise and focus on their child’s best interests, it is much easier for them to overcome many of the common disputes that make co-parenting difficult. However, severe conflicts that pose any danger to a child or to yourself demand immediate legal action. Whatever your situation entails, the right attorney can help you determine the best options available to you for resolving your custody dispute, and they can represent you in any family court proceedings you will need to complete to resolve the issue.
It is vital for all parents with custody orders in Omaha to follow the terms of these orders closely. Intentional violations can lead to contempt of court, financial penalties, or even involuntary termination of parental rights for severe violations.
Q: What Are the Penalties for Violating a Custody Order in Nebraska?
A: Any violation of a family court order can lead to contempt proceedings against the parent in violation. Contempt could entail fines, wage garnishment, asset seizure, or even incarceration. In addition, the judge could strip the parent of their custody and visitation rights for severe offenses, such as any form of child abuse. Criminal prosecution may also follow severe custody order violations.
Q: Can I Change My Custody Order in Omaha?
A: The Nebraska family court system allows a parent to petition the court for reasonable modifications to a family court order in response to unexpected life events, such as the loss of a job, a catastrophic injury, or a newly discovered medical issue. An Omaha family law attorney is a valuable asset if you need to file any type of petition for modification.
Q: When Should I Report Custody Order Violations?
A: While parents are expected to follow their custody terms to the letter, there is always a chance for unpredictable variables to arise. If a parent is 15 minutes late to pick up their child due to traffic, it does not justify a call to your attorney. However, if a parent is habitually late for custody exchanges, repeatedly fails to manage your child’s basic needs while in their care, or if you discover evidence your co-parent has engaged in illegal and/or dangerous behavior while supervising your child, you should report these issues immediately to your attorney.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Omaha Child Custody Attorney?
A: Most family law attorneys bill clients hourly, so the more time an attorney spends working on a case, the more it costs the client. Family court involves many complex and protracted cases and smaller cases and single-issue filings that may still be difficult without legal counsel. Some family lawyers in Nebraska offer limited-scope representation or flat fee billing for very specific individual legal services. Always verify the terms and conditions of a prospective attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their counsel.
Co-parenting can pose challenges in many ways, but when parents work cohesively to ensure their children have the best chance to thrive as fully as possible, they can avoid stressful family court proceedings. Whether you are preparing for a divorce or a standalone custody issue, or you are having trouble maintaining a civil relationship with your co-parent after finalizing your custody order, an experienced Omaha child custody attorney is the best resource to consult for addressing the complex legal issues you face in the family court system.