What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? georgia
i have been divorced for 5 yrs. now. about 5 months ago i got primary physical custody of my 10 yr. old son. it took me several months and several thousand dollars, but i got it done. his mother lives on the other side of the state now (6 hrs. away). the custody papers say that she gets him for (2) two week periods during the summer. the papers say that if his mother and I can not agree on the dates that she gets her choice in odd numbered years and i get my choice in even numbered years. the papers say that she has to provide me with her desired dates in writing by 05/15. if she doesn't notify me (which she didn't) by 05/15, she can still have visitation, but i get to choose the dates. there are other stipulations as well, but they are negated by the fact that she didn't notify me by the date the court specified. anyway, she finally contacted me 06/03 (3 weeks after the deadline) to make plans for our son. she wanted to have him 4th of july weekend, but i told her NO, because i had already made plans for that weekend (which i had the right to do, after 05/15). she agreed to pick him up on 06/13 and bring him back on 07/03. the entire 3 weeks my son was there, she kept calling me trying to get me to change my family's plans and let her keep him. i repeatedly told her NO because we had big plans as a family, and had made them weeks ago. to make a long story short (if that's even possible now) at midnight on 07/02, she called me and informed me that she had decided to keep our son until monday. i was blown away. i couldn't believe it. i tried to talk some sense into her, but she just hung up on me. i tried calling my lawyer the next day, but he was on vacation. i called the sheriff's office. they sent out a deputy who looked at my papers and took my statement. he felt she was in contempt. he called her and told her to bring my son home. she refused and hung up on him. she finally brought him home monday (07/06). my lawyer finally got back in town yesterday (07/09). i told him the whole story and he said she is in contempt. he said we can file papers against her. here is my problem: it is going to cost me $2000 for him to file papers and represent me. he said the judge will probably only give her a slap on the wrist and a firm warning. THIS CAN NOT BE RIGHT! ! ! ! ! i have done nothing wrong, but i have to spend $2000. she is in contempt of court and gets a slap on the wrist. this can't possible be right. . . . .this isn't justice.
what can i do?
1 - is there a way i can file contempt papers on my own?
2 - if i do that and then she shows up to court with a lawyer and i don't have one, am i going to automatically lose?
3 - how can people that don't just have thousands of dollars laying around protect themselves and their rights?
thank you -