Wife Found to be in Contempt for Violating Court Order

Father on beach with child

In a case in Westchester County, a husband brought an Order to Show Cause seeking him temporary custody of his child and directing his wife to return from India with the child. The wife had moved to India with the parties’ child and had failed to appear in court in New York. There were two separate court dates where the wife was told to appear in court and produce the parties’ child. In each of these occasions, she had failed to appear even though she was fully aware of the court dates and her responsibilities in New York.

Father Awarded Sole Custody

A hearing was held and Justice Linda Christopher awarded the father sole custody of the parties’ child. In addition, the judge signed an order directing the wife to immediately return the child to her father in New York.

Wife Held in Contempt

The wife took the position she had initiated an action in India prior to the court proceeding being started in Westchester County, New York. Justice Christopher found the wife’s allegations were untrue. She found the wife brought the action in India after the husband filed his Order to Show Cause in New York. Justice Christopher also found the wife had failed to provide any valid reason for failing to comply with the unequivocal court orders to bring the child back to New York. She found the wife’s actions prejudiced the husband and therefore she found the wife to be in civil contempt. She ordered the wife to return to New York for the purpose of purging her contempt and to immediately return the parties’ daughter to the custody of the husband in New York.


Skipping the country with the child with the hope of getting a better decision in a far off land will not necessarily work. There is a Geneva Convention on child custody. Many countries in the world are parties to this convention. In this case, the wife’s attempt to virtually kidnap her daughter and deprive the father of the custody he was awarded twas unsuccessful.