Introduced in the 2009 session, the New Hampshire House is considering a bill (HB 0209) which will strengthen enforcement criteria for parents who willfully violate custody orders/agreements.  It even goes so far as to authorize the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to initiate abuse & neglect investigations against parents who willfully violate parenting plans.

House Bill HB 0209 Summary:

This bill establishes an expedited hearing process for motions to enforce parenting plans. The bill also permits the department of health and human services to initiate an abuse and neglect investigation based on noncompliance with the parenting plan in appropriate cases.

This issue is a painful one for parents in a post-divorce situation. It’s especially painful for non-custodial parents, who are often treated like 2nd-class citizens in the eyes of the courts and society in general. While there are huge, well-financed organizations that will step up extremely punitive enforcement measures against parents who fall behind on child support obligations, there are almost no meaningful resources available for similar enforcement of custody orders and agreements.  Unfortunately, custodial interference happens is far too many cases and ends up usually being completely ignored by the family court system.

This bill, if made into law, will expedite a hearing on such violations, requiring a hearing to be set within 10-days of the filing!  We applaud this initiative because it moves to  have the matter heard while the issue is still fresh, much more easily provable, and the court can take swift action against the offending parent in short order.

Call your representative and express support for a bill that would strengthen the enforcement of parenting plans/orders/agreements.

To review the bill, its sponsors and co-sponsors: New Hampshire HB 0209 Enforcement of Parenting Plans