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Third party contempt

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Often, pro se litigants get upset when third parties interfere in their children’s affairs. This can include new significant others mostly, and sometimes grandparents or other close relatives.
When you have a third party who interfered and acts as an intermeddler, they want the court to find them in contempt. It can be a situation where a parent doesn’t exercise their placement, but instead, drops the child off with a grandparent to take care of the children every day; or it can be a new girlfriend of the father who insists that all communications go through her pertaining to the children, is involved in taking the children back and forth to school, and showing up at all their doctor appointments, and extra curricular activities.
They want the person to quit interfering and want them found in contempt. What they don’t understand is since they are not a party to the case, the court orders do not apply to them and therefore, they cannot be found in contempt of court. This is very frustrating to the person aggrieved by such behavior. So, what can be done to remedy the situation?
1. You can file a motion for contempt against the other parent, who is a party to the family law case. The court orders do apply to the other party and they can be enjoined from having third parties interfere with the children.
2. You can also file a motion for intervenor to try to plead the third party into the family law case. While this is a rare and extreme reject, given the correct and exigent circumstances, the court has discretion to decide to allow a party to include the person interfering with the children into the case. Should that motion be granted, they would then be subject to future court orders set on the case that would apply specifically to them and they could be found in contempt of court.

If you have questions on child custody, placement or visitation, contact one of our experienced family lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. today.

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