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What To Do If A Co-Parent Isn’t Following The Parenting Plan

Guidelines

Parenting plans are court orders, which means that the parties involved are required to abide by their terms. While many parents are careful to comply with their custody schedules, many fail to do so, which can be upsetting for the children and put their co-parents in a tough spot. There are, however, a few steps that parents who find themselves in this situation can take, one of which involves filing an enforcement action with the court.

Document the Violations

If your child’s other parent isn’t abiding by the terms of your custody arrangement, you may want to start documenting those violations. This is, of course, not necessary in cases where a one-time emergency results in a sudden change to the plan, but could prove vital to enforcement in situations where a parent chronically misses visitation. This documentation can take the form of emails, texts, phone calls, photos, videos, or written notes, as long as it reveals the other parent’s wrongdoing.

Meet with Your Attorney

Once you have evidence of a co-parent’s failure to comply with a parenting plan, and before you begin the enforcement process, you should consider meeting with your attorney. He or she can help you review your current parenting plan to ensure that it is being violated before discussing methods of enforcement. Once the violations have been confirmed and you have decided on a method of enforcement your lawyer can help you prepare motions and begin compiling evidence that you may need to submit to the court.

Methods of Enforcement

If your attorney believes that you have a strong case for enforcement, you’ll have one of a few different options. One option is to write a letter to the other parent that discusses the terms of the court order, as well as the alleged violations and the potential penalties the wrongdoer faces. If the letter has no effect, then you may want to try setting up a face-to-face meeting, where you can discuss your concerns in an out-of-court setting. If the violations continue, you may need to file a motion for enforcement, which will bring the case before a judge. At the hearing, a judge will hear the evidence from both sides before determining a solution, which could involve:

  • Ordering the parent to make up the missed visitation;
  • Modifying the existing parenting plan;
  • Ordering the parent to pay court fines and attorneys fees; or
  • Holding the co-parent in contempt.

To learn more about your own enforcement options following the violation of your parenting plan by your child’s other parent, call our legal team today.

Speak with an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Child Custody Attorney

A parent’s failure to comply with a parenting plan can be frustrating and have negative consequences for a child’s development. If violations have become more common, we can help you begin the enforcement process. Schedule a free consultation with dedicated Florida child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. by calling 954-945-7591 today. You can also schedule a free consultation by reaching out to our legal team via online message.

Sources:

floridarevenue.com/childsupport/parenting_time_plans/Pages/default.aspx

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.45.html

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