Q: Can I be in legal trouble for taking my 6 year old daughter by her dad's house to get her own things?
There is not/never has been a restraining order upon me. The house is owned by his girlfriend. We have a mediated agreement in place for the parenting plan that simply designates a dropoff spot. We had just been at that spot, when she said she forgot her stuff. I tried to flag him down, texted him, called about 5 times--he was unavailable. So I took her by the house. He wasn't there, his girlfriend and her kids were inside. My daughter went inside, came back out, and we had been away for about a minute when I get the phone call that I am not allowed at his house and he is taking me to court. Since he lives about 2 hours from me, I felt like it was a rational choice to just take her by there. Can I get in trouble for this?
From your description of the facts, it seems unlikely that the judge will find you did anything wrong. You attempted to contact him to resolve it. When you went to the house, an adult who resides there let your daughter in, she got her things, and you left. From your description, there was no fight or argument with his girlfriend and no concerns that your daughter may have taken something she shouldn't have. You also mentioned that there is no restraining order preventing you from going to the house.
Nothing in your description would support a restraining order. I also do not see anything there that a family court judge is likely to see as wrongdoing on your part.
If a judge did decide to issue an order for you to stay away from his house, I don't believe it would come with any other consequences for you. It would just be for the future to try to reduce what sounds like may be a high conflict co-parenting situation.
Encourage your daughter to develop tools to make sure she doesn't forget things at either of your houses (perhaps a checklist of things that go back and forth regularly?), but don't put her in the middle of this. Don't tell her that her dad got mad about her getting her stuff. Don't take out your frustration over what this turned into on her. This isn't suggested as punishment, but rather as an opportunity to learn a new life skill that can make both your lives a little easier (and not just with her father). Instead point out the inconvenience, including for her being stuck in the car even longer, when either of you needs to go back to get her stuff. You might teach her some helpful skills for life while also finding a way to avoid this particular fight in the future.
In high conflict situations, anytime you can find another way to simply remove the opportunity for the fight, you and your daughter are both going to be better off. You don't have to be door mat, but you can artfully avoid many fights and provocations and keep things calmer.
Brock Richard Wood agrees with this answer
From your description of the facts, it does not seem that you actually entered the father of the child's home. How old is the child? Based on your description of the facts the child must be old enough to walk, unaccompanied, from the curb into her father's house and go back out again. Is that right? Did she simply go into her father's home and retrieve the item she forgot? When you say you have a mediated agreement about the drop off spot, is there an existing court order adopting that agreement as an order of the court? When you say the house is owned by father's girlfriend, is that the house where the child is parented by father when father exercises parenting time?
The answers to the above questions will help an attorney give you better advice as the answers to the questions will show the detailed facts of the situation to the attorney.
In general, though, I have to agree with the other attorney who answered this question. Unless there is a missing fact here, something that makes the act of going back to father's residence to pick up a forgotten item a violation of a court order, this sound like, at best, an innocent situation where you did not know you and/or the child were not welcome to go back to father's residence to pick up a forgotten item.
The worst that could happen, if there is a Colorado child custody case, is that father demands a status conference on this issue and you have to go to the status conference and explain what happened to the judge. Then the judge will issue some reasonable court orders about when you are or are not allowed to go to father's residence. This is the sort of minor issue judges want the parents to work out themselves. It will irritate the judge that the judge has to spend time on this sort of petty gripe by father. If father continues to complain about this issue to you, propose a solution to him that you think will work. If father demands that the court intervene (a mistake I think, if I were father's lawyer), then just propose your reasonable solution to the court and ask the court to make it the order of the court.
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