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Courts will not hesitate to enforce custody orders

Frequently, when a relationship sours, the children get stuck in the middle. It isn't uncommon to find parents in Louisiana or other states who will deny visitation to the other parent, even though a court has issued a divorce and/or custody order providing for it

Courts, however, frown upon that and recognize that parents shouldn't use their children as pawns in a dispute. In fact, a pair of experts said that most judges look to enforce custody and visitation orders if a case includes evidence and other notes the judge can use. The only catch is that judges must know a problem exists first, so parents should report any violations.

Part of the evidence a judge will look for is proof that both parties have complied with the spirit and facts of a custody order. Each parent needs to stick to an agreed schedule and document all visits in a journal.

Each party should put everything in writing. If one parent must provide the other with something such as a notice of an upcoming vacation, by all means tell the other parent. Should a problem persist, such as a violation of visitation rules set out in a schedule, document it.

Parents will never know when they might need such evidence, but put everything in writing just in case. Send an email to the other parent and keep the email exchange. If the other parent agrees to show up but doesn't, that could be grounds for taking that other parent back to court.

Follow any written orders as much as possible. If that fails and a social worker calls on a family, the parent will have evidence of any attempts. At this point, a lawyer might need to be called in for assistance. The price of keeping children safe, happy and feeling loved is a person's might important responsibility.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Strict adherence to visitation order essential," Jeffrey A. Grossman and Andrew Grossman, Oct. 7, 2012

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