Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
Every week you call the police at her house. Get the time, date, officer/phone operator's number. You might want to do some prep work with the sheriff.
Actually, you should be careful doing that. I'm sure the police have already explained to you that they're not authorized to enforce a civil order on behalf of the NCP. So you can't claim to be unaware of the fact that calling them to the ex's house will accomplish nothing. But you ARE aware that weekly police involvement would be upsetting to the child. So, later, when you're all in court or with a custodial evaluator discussing how much time the child should spend with whom, the ex could make a very good point that you guys were willing to upset the child just to harass her with the police, even though you knew it wouldn't accomplish anything.
My husband dealt with this dilemma and the police ended up advising him to call the dispatch # each time he tried to pick up his child and simply report that he was there, ready to pick up his child, but that his ex and the child were not there or she refused to let him take the child, so he was going to leave. Then there's a recorded phone call, with a date and time. You can request a copy of that recording (which usually comes with a written record of the call, on police letterhead). Potentially, the recording could be played in court or for a custodial evaluator. But dispatch did not actually send anyone out
, because they couldn't do anything. Then the child wasn't traumatized for no reason.
On a larger scale: Check the laws where you live. Here
, our "custodial interference" (parental kidnapping) law is worded in a completely egalitarian
way. A NCP who refuses to return the child at the end of court-ordered visitation commits custodial interference. But a CP who refuses to surrender the child to the NCP for court-ordered visitation ALSO commits it. ON PAPER, the CP is just as susceptible to arrest and prosecution as the NCP. IN PRACTICE, absolutely no police officer will arrest a CP for this and absolutely no prosecutor will press charges against a CP for this. That is hard and fast policy and there is no deviation. Ever. Of course, law enforcement and an elected prosecutor are not supposed to be able to change the law
by selectively deciding which laws will and and won't be enforced. But such practices don't change unless somebody acts as the squeaky wheel
. Find out if this is also the case in your community. I can't say I've been successful changing anything here YET. But my husband and I have been noisy about it...and we're about to get a new prosecutor...