A Louisiana custody order will usually give both of the adults in a family the right to spend time with their children. It will likely also divide decision-making authority between the parents, as parents typically have the right to choose what schools their children attend and what medical treatment they receive.
The best-case scenario for divorced or separated parents in Louisiana is one in which they co-parent amicably. They abide by the custody order and cooperate with one another whenever circumstances fall outside of the guidance provided by the courts.
Unfortunately, many parents with a theoretical right to spend time with their children established in a Louisiana custody order find themselves fighting an uphill battle. Their co-parents may have canceled their parenting time or intentionally reduced it. Thankfully, there are ways that someone can assert their parental rights when denied appropriate amounts of time with their children.
They can take the matter to court
Louisiana expects that both parents will abide by a custody order. This document is not just a collection of guidelines. It has the full authority of the courts behind it. Intentional violations of a custody order may constitute contempt of court.
One parent can potentially ask for a hearing in family court when the other has failed to abide by the custody order. A family law judge can award someone additional time with their children to make up for the time previously denied. A judge can also order the parent who violated the custody order to cover the legal costs of the parent seeking enforcement assistance. They can also impose penalties related to contempt of court on the parent who did not follow the custody order.
For someone to prevail in a custody enforcement manner matter, they will typically need evidence supporting their claims. Text messages and emails threatening to cut someone off from their children can be helpful. Parents will also need documentation of times at which they arrived for visitation as scheduled only to get turned away by their co-parent. It is typically necessary for someone to show up for custody exchanges if they want to take action over denied time with the children.
The more frequently one parent interferes in the relationship that the other has with their children, the more likely the Louisiana courts are to act to enforce the custody order. Seeking legal guidance and learning more about parental rights and custody enforcement actions may benefit those co-parenting with someone who resents that obligation.