I don’t know what to do! My ex-spouse just refused me access to my child even though the court order says I get to visit her! What should I do?

 

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The best course of action, based on current New York State law, is to bring a contempt action to enforce the parenting time order. It is important to submit the contempt of court petition to a Family Court. Under New York State law, Family Court has jurisdiction over such motions and, unlike filing a motion or petition in Supreme Court, filing a petition in Family Court is free.

Once you file the contempt petition, the court will likely schedule a “show cause” hearing to determine what exactly is going on. In an extreme case, a court in New York State could strip the parent, denying parenting time, of custody.

A court in New York State may also order “makeup” or compensatory parenting time. A New York court may conclude increasing parenting time is an appropriate sanction for your ex-spouse’s denial of parenting time. Finally, keep in mind, Judges presiding over Family Court in New York State have significant discretion in deciding these matters. As a result, at times, even when all the facts are known, it can still nevertheless be difficult to know what the court will order.

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