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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Oct 13, 2015

Divorce can be a challenging situation for both parties. That challenge is heightened when you and your spouse have children and are battling over child custody. Even after all the court hearings, your spouse may not adhere to the custody terms set forth by the court and is keeping you from being a part of your child’s life. If your ex-wife isn’t keeping custody terms, here’s what you can do.

Before undertaking any legal actions, the best thing to do is to try to talk things out with your ex-spouse. If the issue is a simple scheduling conflict, it can often be worked out. However, your ex-spouse cannot use late child support payments as a reason to keep you from seeing your child, nor does she have the right to decide whether you see the child or not.

If talking things out doesn’t resolve the issue, the first step in enforcing a child custody order is to obtain certified copies of the court orders. You can do this by contacting the clerk of the court from the county in which the court hearing was held. From there, you can file a Petition for Enforcement of a Child Custody Determination, which should include the following:

  • The jurisdictional basis identified by the court that issued the initial custody order.
  • Whether the order has been vacated, stayed, or modified.
  • Whether another related proceeding has begun, such as a protective order, domestic violence, parental termination or adoption.

Once this petition is filed, the court will issue an order for your ex-spouse to appear in court for a hearing. The ex-spouse may be ordered to bring the child to the hearing as well.

Assuming there are no extenuating circumstances, such as a domestic violence charge or child neglect, your ex-spouse has no right to keep you from seeing your child. If your ex refuses to let you see your own children, she will be required to give the courts a valid reason for doing so. An experienced attorney who understands family law and court procedures in Arizona can help you enforce the court’s decision regarding child custody and ensure that you spend time with your child.