Police Enforcement of an Ohio Divorce Decree or Shared Parenting Plan

police enforcement of divorce decrees and shared parenting plansMost people are under the impression that calling the police can help when one parent or ex-spouse is violating their divorce decree or shared parenting plan.  This is the wrong impression.  Court orders that are issued by civil courts in domestic cases are civil orders.  The police only enforce criminal law, not civil and domestic relations law.  There is little, if anything, police can do about violations of domestic civil court orders.

However, there are a few exceptions regarding police enforcing domestic civil court orders.  They can certainly enforce civil protection orders (CPO’s).  Those orders have civil and criminal penalties if broken, and they are actually served upon the party by the sheriff’s department themselves, by order of the civil court.  CPO’s contain provisions that order one party to not harass, abuse, or contact the other party at their home, school, work, or otherwise.  They also can prohibit the party whom they are against from drinking alcohol, possessing firearms, or living in their current household in some circumstances. As part of a CPO, if the court has ordered temporary custody to the person that obtained the order, the police can also retrieve any children subject to that custody order from the person whom the order is against, and deliver them to the other parent.

Police can also, regarding civil court orders from domestic relations courts, “Stand by and assist” the parties to the order.  This simply means that when they are called, they go to the area where the parties to the order are meeting, and document any occurrences that may transpire while they are there.  They simply meet the parties at a location, watch the parties conduct their activity (usually exchanging children), make certain there is no violence, and document the activities in an incident report.  If there is any violence or other illegal activity, they can arrest a person, just as they can any other person that is not subject to a civil order.

Domestic relations problems are among the most difficult of all issues a person must confront in a lifetime.  Even the strongest minded person can experience distress and emotional forthcomings.  If you or a family member finds yourself in one of these situations, please contact Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation at 1-800-297-9191 or send us a blog message.  We understand what you are going through, and have extensive experience dealing with these problems.

To learn more about, divorce, dissolution and other domestic relations topics, please visit dissolutionanddivorce.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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