Hayward, CA asked in Family Law for Massachusetts

Q: In Massachusetts, what powers to enforce the orders does a judge have on family related issues?

There is an order concerning visitations (drop offs and pick ups) for a non custodial parent. The custodial parent doesn't obey the order and the non-custodial parent files for contempt. The judge find the defendant (custodial parent) guilty. The custodial parent still disregards the order.

If the non-custodial parent files a contempt again, what can the judge really do to enforce their order?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
  • Worcester, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: In this situation, the judge could again find the custodial parent in contempt with some more severe consequences. That could be anything from awarding you attorney's fees (if you have an attorney) to ordering that you have additional parenting time.

It depends what you are seeking the judge to do. They will look at the relief the party bringing the contempt is looking for, and whether it is reasonable. Some ideas may be to extend the parenting time for any time you miss, or even provide an extra day to you as punishment to the parent in contempt. The judge will likely be pretty unhappy with the parent in contempt, so the consequence could be something harsher than whatever you ask for. Judges have a lot of discretion, so it depends on the judge.

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