How to enforce custody agreement?
May 22, 2007 11:58 AM Subscribe
My ex-husband has violated our month old custody agreement three times already... how can I enforce?
It's somewhat complicated....
posted by mistsandrain to grab bag (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here are the facts- not sure which are useful...
My ex-husband was abusive towards me a few years ago. This resulted in a police report but no arrest.
During the course of our separation and divorce he harassed me by phone- I have a voicemail record of him making threats. (He's not very bright.)
During the course of our separation and divorce he was verbally abusive and threatening towards me in front of our young son (5) during a visitation swap. (I have primary custody)
After this event, I drafted a protective order and my attorney forwarded a letter to his attorney stating that from that point on, I would no longer be interacting with him by phone and would maintain contact w/ regard to our son's logistics via email and text. The letter also stated that I would no longer do visitation swaps in places that were not safe for me (his threatening behavior occurred at a metro parking lot.) My attorney figured that this letter would be enough to stop the behaviors and that we would not need to proceed with an actual protective order. Neither he, nor his attorney, responded to this letter.
While this was going on, we managed to reach a separation agreement- you may ask "how on earth" but, basically, I stupidly figured his behaviors would cease once an agreement was in place and that he would follow it. I wanted to believe it, for our son's sake, if not for mine.
Meanwhile, he continues to only contact me by phone, ignoring my request that we communicate in writing only for the indefinite future (unless there is an emergency.)
My ex-husband has, thus far, taken my son out of town w/out telling me (it states in our agreement that we must inform eachother when we take our son out of town), he kept my son an extra night without telling me his whereabouts until the hour before he was due to bring him back to me (it states in our agreement that he is to return my son to me by a specific time after each scheduled visitation)
Most recently he returned my son to me two hours late with only last minute notification (by phone, of course) and when I did not respond positively, he cursed me loudly in front of our son (who was in the car with him.) I filed a missing person's report w/ the police. He is not aware of this.
So, I am tired of being bullied by this man. The attorney I had through this process has left the practice and I have been handed over to someone who- while VERY competent- is not as available as I need right now and he is also VERY expensive.
This is what I want: An explicit modification of our agreement that outlines consequences for breaches and harassment. In the meantime, I want to withhold visitation.
I want to tell him via email that I am stopping visitation until these issues are clearly resolved. I want to call the police if he attempts to remove my child from school or if he shows up at my door.
Is it within my rights to do this? I am primary custodian and we share legal custody.
Please help! BTW- our sep agreement is governed by the laws of Washington DC.