What Happens If You Violate Court Ordered Visitation?

When parents violate court-ordered visitation, they may be ordered to appear in court and may be found in contempt of court, which may lead to jail time and ultimately the loss of custody rights, according to LegalMatch. The non-violating parent must first file a petition for enforcement.

When a parent violates court-ordered visitation, the complying parent should first secure detailed custodial orders as proof of the violation and then report the non-complying parent to police, according to the Van Oorschot Law Group. The complying parent also has the option to pursue a contempt action through the court system. The complying parent can obtain a lawyer to file a motion or file a claim with the county's child support enforcement agency. Before filing a court order, a lawyer may send a letter to the non-compliant parent requesting compliance and outlining the consequences of violating the order, which may include fines or jail time.

Complying parents also may contact a parenting plan coordinator or mediator to help resolve disputes, according to the Van Oorschot Law Group. Counseling services can be ordered by the court or agreed upon by both parents. A mediator or parenting plan coordinator may be granted decision-making powers, similar to the power of a judge, to determine custody arrangements that are best for the child or children involved.