The most common and frustrating issues facing divorced or separated parents of children are violations of Court ordered visitation terms. Enforcing visitation rights yourself is the first thing you should consider.
Parents won’t pick up the kids when they are supposed to. Parents won’t drop off the kids when they are supposed to. Parents plan activities for the kid when the other parent is supposed to have them.
When parents want to enforce a court order, they need to file a Motion for an Order to Show Cause.
However, most parents cannot afford to hire a lawyer every time there is a violation, so things get uncorrected. Frustration, anger and resentment builds against the other parent. Worst of all, the parents’ relationship with their child suffers as a result.
Fortunately, you do not need an attorney, or even pay a filing fee, to file a Motion for an Order to Show Cause.
What is a Motion for an Order to Show Cause?
Basically, a Motion for an Order to Show Cause:
- Tells the Court that the other parent is violating the Court’s prior orders, and
- Asks the Court to order the violating parent to appear in front of the Judge and explain why they should not be held in contempt for violating the Court’s orders
After filing the Motion, the Court will issue an Order to Appear and Show Cause, setting a hearing where both parents have to appear.
At the Show Cause hearing, you will have to present your case to the Judge and the other parent will have the opportunity to respond. The Judge will then decide whether or not the other parent violated the Court’s orders on purpose and whether or not they were justified in violating those orders.
If the Court determines that there was a willful violation without justifiable cause, the Court can find that the parent is in contempt of court. At that point the Court can issue a remedy or gran relief.
These are usually an order for the parent to stop the violation, an admonishment that further violations can result in more serious sanctions. The Court can also modify its existing orders, it can impose fines, or it can even send the offending party to jail.
You can find forms for a Motion for an Order to Show Cause by selecting Packet 9 on the Wyoming Supreme Court Forms page.
By Steve Harton
Steve Harton is a family law attorney in Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming. To find out more about Steve, visit his Lexedia author page.