This is an advertisement.

Divorce Advice for Men | Fathers Rights Divorce | Child Custody

Providing men with essential divorce advice, fathers rights divorce information and child custody articles. Dads Divorce is a community for men facing divorce or fathers rights issues and run by Cordell and Cordell. Cordell & Cordell is a family law firm with a focus on men's divorce, child custody and fathers rights divorce.
Print PDF

child custody enforcementBy Daniel Exner

Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer

When your ex-wife violates the child custody or visitation order and denies your parenting time, many divorced dads wonder if they should immediately call the local police.

Unfortunately, enforcement of a divorce decree sometimes depends on the attitude of your local law enforcement.

In general, there are two ways to enforce a child custody or visitation order: with police intervention or through the court with a Motion to Enforce.

A court order that mandates or prohibits conduct is typically executable through the police. For example, orders to arrest, seize property, or for injunctions, depend on law enforcement agencies to be effective. Orders for parenting time carry the same court authority and therefore are technically enforceable by the police.

There is, however, a disconnect between theory and practice. In many cases, police officers might be unwilling to get involved in a family law dispute unless the conduct rises to a criminal infraction (i.e. child abuse or parental kidnapping).

The police may tell you to take it up with the court. If an officer is willing to help, he may call the opposing party and demand compliance or escort you to pick up the children.

If the police are unwilling to get involved, you can always file a Motion to Enforce with the court. A Motion to Enforce tells the court that the opposing party has failed to comply with the child custody order and is unreasonably denying you visitation

Read Related Articles:
Enforcement Of Divorce Decrees

Motions to Enforce are conceptually similar to Contempt Motions except they must be heard within 30 days by law, at least where I practice. At an enforcement hearing, you can ask the court to:

1) reaffirm the placement schedule;

2) award you make-up days for the lost parenting time; and

3) order the opposing party to pay your attorney fees and/or court costs.


divorce lawyer Daniel ExnerCordell & Cordell has men's divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer Daniel Exner, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by Ashley, January 04, 2012
Not calling the police resulted in my boyfriend losing his split parenting time with his children, he went from getting them for six months out of a year down to just two...
Words from experience
written by DAcc, April 10, 2012
I can tell you first hand that this is correct. It does depend on the officer, but it also helps to be very calm and collected. I went to visit my kids and I did a lot of researching and verifying with the County PD of where I was visiting. Here are some hints that I feel will really help.

Have a copy of your decree with you. If you have corresponded via e-mail or text, print them out, but make sure that you have been calm and amicable in every aspect of the correspondence otherwise the officer will still see you are on the brink of aggression.

You can call the dispatcher and ask questions pertaining to what your decree says and any other questions that you can think of that your ex may rebuttal with. Cover all your bases. Once you have gotten all answers taken care of, you need to actually talk to an officer prior to picking up your child(ren).

Get to a place just a block or two away from the ex's home and call dispatch stating you want to have an escort and consult with an officer regarding your visitation and you're wanting to keep the piece. This is crucial b/c now the officer knows you are wanting to be amicable, calm, collected, and just want visitation with your child(ren).

The police officer(s) will come and just let them know casually what your intentions are and that you want no problems, just want to spend time with your child(ren). Also re-ask questions that you have already asked the dispatcher b/c now you physically have an officer that will be with you. Finally you will both go to get the child(ren) and three things will occur

1 - The mother can deny the visitation and the police CANNOT obtain the child(ren)
2 - The mother has left the house regardless of your information to pick up the kids (must have this proof in writing)
3 - The wife will give you the child(ren)

Here's is what happens if the first two things occur. The officer may or may not create a police report, but you have still have a case number regarding what had just happened and you can use this to build your case against your ex regarding child alienation, visitation refusal, contempt of decree for visitation, etc. Whatever you wanna call it, it will help in your case for later.

I'm no attorney, or paralegal, but I'm beginning to do my own research and finding ways not to get stepped on and have my kids when it's my time and escape from the dictatorship of my ex. I enjoyed having my kids and loved them to death that weekend. I hope this helped you.
written by jp ippoliti, December 20, 2012
I'm going through the same problem with my ex. She pulls visits because she thinks I'm unstable. She lives very far away and her accusations have no grounding...they are heresay I have sent mean texts but not threatening. I'm really missed and I want to know what my best course of action would be. I haven't seen my daughter in 2 months. Have a restraining order from another girl can that be used against me?
Same problem
written by Keith, May 29, 2013
My daughter 16 yo, the last time I had visitation was when she was 12yo. Her mother refuses to give me her address therefore I have no idea where me child is located. Because of this I can not exercise my court ordered parenting time. I finally got a lucky break my ex went for a increase of child support in doing so she had to give her address to TAG. Since I have many times contacted the, asking if they had a updated address they mailed me her current address. I sent a letter with copy of the court order stating my intention to exercise my rights. Two weeks pasted it was my court ordered weekend and I went to her rental house at the court ordered time and date. My ex had moved and taken my child with her and this time she has not updated her address with TAG. I need help I have no idea where to turn at this point she is like a ghost. No property in her name, no house phone in her name, no utilities in her name nothing I can't find her because she owns nothing! Amy. And all suggestions are welcome I have hire two lawyers over the past four years and they all say the same thing find her and it can be I forced. Dear God my child will be an adult thinking I don't love her enough to co tact her before this is over.
I can't believe some people
written by Really want to see my kids, November 01, 2013
Sorry to hear you all are going through this kind of stuff. I myself am going trough the same thing. I am the mother though. I know this is dads divorce site but I am nothing like the moms you have to deal with. I have been civil with my ex since I left him for beating for the last time. he's been trying to keep our daughter from me despite a joint custody court order in place. I missed Halloween last night and so many other days because he's refusing to give me my daughter. he's filed another molestation accusation on me to try and get full custody easier (my daughter has never been molested, especially in my care) he's been harassing me for two years. I just want to see my daughter with no problems and live life happily without him. I'm trying to research what I can do. despite all his false accusations which lead to CPS getting involved to interview me (which leaves my name in the system forever now) I am still civil with him for the sake of our daughter. I seem to be the only one who cares for her. I ALWAYS prove him wrong in court cause I have so much proof but it's very tiring and heartbreaking having to fight for my innocence and him violating court order. What should I do?

Write comment
smaller | bigger

Divorce, Child Support, Alimony Information.
Men's Rights Website