Our clients often ask what to do when their parenting time is being denied. The first step in any parenting time case is to determine if there is a valid court order or judgment which provides for parenting time. If there is a valid court order, the next step is to determine whether the parenting time as specified in the judgment or court order is being denied.
There are generally two methods to enforce a valid parenting time order: (1) a motion to enforce parenting time; or (2) a contempt proceeding. Some of the differences between the two procedures are outlined below.
We can help you enforce your parenting time. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free parenting time enforcement consultation.
THE COURT IS REQUIRED TO SET AN EXPEDITED HEARING TO ENFORCE YOUR PARENTING TIME
The enforcement of parenting time process generally requires the court to schedule a hearing within 45 days. This is referred to as expedited parenting time. In many jurisdictions, this may be the fastest way to obtain parenting time.
In contempt proceedings, the hearing is usually held by the judge who issued the order or judgment. The case is scheduled on that judge’s calendar docket along with all the other judge’s cases. Given the judge’s calendar, it may take longer to appear before the judge in a contempt proceeding than it would in an enforcement of parenting time proceeding.
Again, this will depend on the jurisdiction in which your case arises. In many jurisdictions, such as Multnomah County, a judge will reserve jurisdiction on the case after one hour. In other jurisdictions such as Clackamas County, the judges rotate regardless.
WHAT RELIEF IS AVAILABLE IN CONTEMPT AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS
In an enforcement of parenting time proceeding, the court has the authority:
• To create a more detailed parenting time schedule; to impose additional terms and conditions on the existing parenting time order;
• To order additional parenting time to compensate for a wrongful denial of parenting time;
• To order the violating party to post a bond or securities;
• To order the offending party to attend counseling or educational classes that focus on the impact the violation of parenting time has on the children; and
• To award attorneys fees and costs incurred in enforcing the parenting time.
ORS 107.435 provides for additional remedies the court may order in an enforcement of parenting time proceeding. You can review the Oregon statutes on our website.
The contempt statutes are set forth in ORS 39.145, et. seq. Additional rules which govern contempt proceedings are set forth in the Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules. The remedies available in the contempt proceeding include:
• Any order the court feels necessary to ensure compliance with a prior court order;
• Remedial sanctions to compensate for the contempt;
• Attorney fees and costs incurred in purging the contempt; and
• In extreme cases, confinement in jail.
CONTEMPT REQUIRES A HIGHER BURDEN OF PROOF
The burden of proof in a contempt proceeding is “by clear and convincing” evidence and requires a willful disobedience of a prior court order or judgment.
The burden of proof in an enforcement proceeding is a “preponderance” of the evidence . Quite often it is beneficial to commence both an enforcement and contempt proceeding to obtain all of the remedies to which you are entitled.
PAUL F. SHERMAN IS A SKILLED AND EXPERIENCED PARENTING TIME ENFORCEMENT ATTORNEY
The rules and procedures in filing enforcement of parenting time and contempt proceedings are complicated and require a skilled and experienced parenting time enforcement attorney.
We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like to know more about parenting time enforcement or remedial contempt, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free parenting time enforcement consultation.