It is frustrating when the other parent constantly violates a clear Order governing custody and parenting time for my client. New Jersey court rules and previous cases provide for a host of remedies to enforce a Court Order. For example, a court can award compensatory parenting time in the event an Order is not being followed. The court can order the violating party to perform community service. Or, the court can alter or expand the existing parenting time schedule, to name a few remedies.
A recent case, Brinkrode, gave some teeth to the remedy of sanctions against the violating party. The offending party neglected to abide by a reunification therapy provision in a custody and parenting time Order. This followed by numerous enforcement Orders entered by the trial court. The Appellate Division in Brinkrode resorted to monetary sanctions as a consequence to continued disregard for the court’s Orders.
The Court sanctioned the offending party $5 per day for a certain period of time. The sanctions were in place until she cooperated with the reunification therapy process. If that consequence did not motivate her to comply, an increased sanction of $100 per day was to be imposed. It was the Court’s expectation that these monetary sanctions would force compliance.
The Brinkrode decision is an important tool to have in the toolbox when seeking enforcement of a prior Court Order. Cases that warrant monetary sanctions may also warrant an application for a change in custody to ensure parenting time is protected and complied with.