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What If My Co-Parent Violates Our Time-Sharing Plan?


Once finalized by a judge, a Florida parenting plan becomes a legally binding court order. This means that parents who fail to abide by the terms of that agreement face severe repercussions, including fines, fees, and contempt of court proceedings. There are a few different ways that parents can go about enforcing parenting plans, so if your own co-parent is refusing to honor your time-sharing agreement or another part of your parenting plan, please call our experienced Florida child custody legal team today for help.

The Legal Consequences of Violating a Time-Sharing Arrangement 

There are certain steps that courts must take if a parent refuses to honor a time-sharing arrangement (without proper cause). For instance, under Florida law, the first thing a court will do in this instance is award make-up time to the wronged parent. This time will be granted based on what would be in the child’s best interests, but also what works for the parent whose visitation rights were violated, even if that time is at the other parent’s expense. Besides awarding make-up time, however, a family law judge can also order the parent who was in violation of the agreement to:

  • Pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees or any court costs incurred while enforcing the time-sharing agreement;
  • Attend a pre-approved parenting course;
  • Perform community service hours; and
  • Initiate contempt of court proceedings, which are often accompanied by hefty fines and even the threat of jail time.

If a parent shows no remorse or an unwillingness to abide by a time-sharing agreement at all, then a judge also has the authority to modify the agreement entirely. However, a court will only take this step if doing so is deemed to be in the child’s best interests.

Withholding Visitation 

There could be a lot of reasons for a parent’s refusal or inability to abide by a time-sharing arrangement. One parent, for instance, may have lost his or her means of transportation, suffered an illness, or experienced another major change in circumstances that results in a violation of the agreement. In these cases, the parents can usually work out an arrangement to adapt to the changed circumstances without going to court. In other cases, a parent may purposefully withhold visitation because a co-parent is refusing or unable to pay child support. In Florida, withholding visitation is unlawful, even if the other parent is in violation of the parenting plan. Fortunately, there are other steps that a parent can take to legally enforce a parenting plan. To learn more about these steps, please call our legal team today.

Contact an Experienced Florida Child Custody Lawyer for Help 

If your co-parent is refusing visitation or otherwise failing to comply with the terms of a parenting plan, you could benefit from the help of an attorney. Please call 954-945-7591 to set up a free consultation with experienced Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today.




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