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Enforcement of Parenting Plan / Contempt of Court

Oregon courts expect compliance with parenting time orders. The courts provide a remedy called “Enforcement of Parenting Time” if the custodial parent is not following the parenting plan. If a party is in substantial noncompliance with a parenting plan, the court can change the plan, award makeup time, fine the other parent, award attorney fees, suspend support, and order a parent into counseling. Enforcement of parenting time is a powerful, specific tool to get the other parent to comply with the parenting plan.

Oregon Revised Statute 107.434 is the law that provides for Expedited parenting time enforcement procedure; fees; remedies.

1. The presiding judge of each judicial district shall establish an expedited parenting time enforcement procedure that may or may not include a requirement for mediation. The procedure must be easy to understand and initiate. Unless the parties otherwise agree, the court shall conduct a hearing no later than 45 days after the filing of a motion seeking enforcement of a parenting time order. The court shall charge a filing fee of $50, subject to waiver or deferral of the fee under ORS 21.680 to 21.698. The court shall provide forms for:

A. A motion filed by either party alleging a violation of parenting time or substantial violations of the parenting plan. When a person files this form, the person must include a copy of the order establishing the parenting time.
B. An order requiring the parties to appear and show cause why parenting time should not be enforced in a specified manner. The party filing the motion shall serve a copy of the motion and the order on the other party. The order must include:

i. A notice of the remedies imposable under subsection (2) of this section and the availability of a waiver of any mediation requirement; and
ii. A notice in substantially the following form:
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When pleaded and shown in a separate legal action, violation of court orders, including visitation and parenting time orders, may also result in a finding of contempt, which can lead to fines, imprisonment or other penalties, including compulsory community service.
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iii. A motion, affidavit and order that may be filed by either party and providing for waiver of any mediation requirement on a showing of good cause.

2. In addition to any other remedy the court may impose to enforce the provisions of a judgment relating to the parenting plan, the court may:

A. Modify the provisions relating to the parenting plan by:

i. Specifying a detailed parenting time schedule;
ii. Imposing additional terms and conditions on the existing parenting time schedule; or
iii. Ordering additional parenting time, in the best interests of the child, to compensate for wrongful deprivation of parenting time;

B. Order the party who is violating the parenting plan provisions to post bond or security;
C. Order either or both parties to attend counseling or educational sessions that focus on the impact of violation of the parenting plan on children;
D. Award the prevailing party expenses, including, but not limited to, attorney fees, filing fees and court costs, incurred in enforcing the party’s parenting plan;
E. Terminate, suspend or modify spousal support;
F. Terminate, suspend or modify child support as provided in ORS 107.431; or
G. Schedule a hearing for modification of custody as provided in ORS 107.135 (11)

The lawyers at OneTec Family Law can help you understand your rights, obligations, and defenses in enforcing parenting time.

Contempt

Oregon courts expect compliance with court orders and judgments. “Contempt of Court” is one remedy parties use to obtain compliance with an order of the court. If the other party is aware of and willfully disobeying a court order, the court can order fines, attorney fees, compensation for damages, and even probation and incarceration. A private attorney can seek “remedial” sanctions to remedy an ongoing contempt. Some types of actions that constitute contempt may also be considered crimes. Contempt of court is a powerful tool to obtain compliance with a court order, and is a serious matter if you are facing a motion for contempt of court.

The lawyers at OneTec Family Law, a Portland Oregon family law firm, can help you understand your rights, obligations, and defenses in the contempt process.

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