Q: Can I file for contempt if ex is continually interfering with visitation and is harassing me via text?
He is harassing my son by negative comments about me. He has fabricated text messages about me and sent them to my boyfriend and wants to use these texts in court as evidence. How long can he hold the texts without turning them in for discovery,
As to filing for contempt, perhaps. It depends on what he has done, what you can prove, and what the court order allows or prohibits him from doing. As to texts and discovery, you should be able to do discovery on him as long as at least 10 days have passed since the defendant was served.
He can certainly used fabricated texts if he wants to. You would need to prove the texts are fakes. How you do this will depend on the facts of your individual case.
A: I think what you mean by "fabricated text messages" is that he is making up negative things about you, not that he has somehow fabricated texts as false documents he claims are FROM YOU. If that is the case, you need to read the exact language of your order regarding what constitutes harassment to make sure his actions are included in the definition of harassment in your order. Your order must be a written document and it must have been served on him. You will need proof that he had knowledge of the order to prevail in a contempt. Your boyfriend can produce the texts and testify.. As to the negative comments to your son, that could be harassment, but it could also be parental alienation. As to interfering with visitation, again, look to your orders and make sure his actions are contrary to those orders and that you have proof, documentary or witnesses, to prove he violated the visitation orders. The bottom line is contempt is a very complex action involving very strict Constitutional protections the same as in criminal law and with very technical procedures. You should hire an attorney to represent you if you decide to go forward with the contempt. Alternatives are to discuss those negative comments with your son and your boyfriend and tell them the father is angry person and telling lies about you to discredit you in their eyes, that none of the things he is saying are true and then get on with your life. As to the visitation interference, if he refuses to allow you court-ordered time with your child, you can take a copy of the orders to the police and they will go with you to get your child for your visits. You must show the police the court orders to obtain their assistance with this. One problem with filing a contempt against a parent is that the other parent will use that against you by telling the child that you are trying to put his father in jail. He would do that to damage your relationship with your child.
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