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Child support enforcement vs. custodial interference enforcement

Most people know child support orders are enforced by the court. In Colorado, as in other states, a parent can end up in jail for failing to pay court-ordered child support. One advocate for fathers' rights, though, says there is not enough done for a noncustodial parent who is denied visitation by the other parent. This family law issue, he says, needs more enforcement in order to ensure children maintain their emotional connection with the noncustodial parent. This enforcement needs to come at the law enforcement level, but also with stronger penalties in court.

The advocate gives an example of a father who is scheduled to pick up his children, but the mother will not let the children leave with him. The father calls the police, but the police do nothing to help because they see visitation as a civil matter. The father is left with no alternative but to retain the services of an attorney or try to appeal to the court with no representation. The latter is not advised and if nothing is done at all, the mother may continue to keep the children from the father.

The advocate says there are few resources available for assisting fathers who have problems with custodial interference. According to numbers from the U.S. Census, fathers represent over 82 percent of noncustodial parents and even as such, fathers are left without options if the mother refuses to allow visitation.

The advocate says the enforcement of child support is severe in court, but just the opposite is true for custodial interference. If you have been denied visitation with your child as dictated by your child custody or divorce agreement, it is best to speak with a family law attorney. This will ensure your rights are protected and can provide the options you need for enforcement of the child custody agreement.

Source:  huffingtonpost.com, "Disparity between child support and custody enforcement" Joseph E. Cordell, May. 03, 2013

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