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Asking the court to make the other parent obey a Parenting Time or Visitation Order

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2023

If you already have a Parenting Time or Visitation Order, and the other parent is disobeying the order, you can file a Complaint for Contempt to ask the Court to enforce the order.

In Stewart and Suzanne’s situation:

  • the father says the mother is not obeying the parenting time order. She will not let him pick up their child for parenting time.
  • the mother says the father was late for parenting time or had been drinking.

Stewart and Suzanne are in the middle of a divorce. They have a 7 year old, named Julie. They have already been to court for temporary orders that are in effect until the final decision in the divorce. Under the temporary order Stewart and Suzanne have shared legal custody and Suzanne has sole physical custody.

Stewart has parenting time every week from Friday at 6pm until Sunday at 6pm.

Stewart needs the court to make Suzanne obey the parenting time order. He wants to tell the court that Suzanne did not let him pick up Julie for parenting time 2 weeks in a row. Look at this example of a Complaint for Contempt for Stewart. When he files his complaint, he must also file an Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding. This form tells the court if any other court is making decisions about your child.

Suzanne needs the court to know that the first week, Stewart did not let her know he was going to be at least 2 hours late to pick up Julie, and the second week he seemed to be drunk. Look at this example of an Answer Suzanne could file. She must also file the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody.

If you need to ask the court to enforce a parenting time or visitation order, you would use the Complaint for Contempt form and the Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody Proceeding.

There is no official court answer form. Use Suzanne’s sample as a guide to write your own. Read Answering a Complaint in Probate and Family Court for more information.

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