Both parties are legally obligated to follow the executed parenting agreement as written. If one party wants to make changes, they need to get the court to issue a Modification Order. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one parent to choose to ignore what they don’t like. If one parent denies the other their scheduled visitation or refuses to cooperate with the parenting agreement, the other parent can take the following actions to protect their family’s best interests.
THE 3 STEPS TO TAKE WHEN ONE PARENT IS VIOLATING THE AGREEMENT:
DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT
To back up your claim that the parenting plan has been violated, start gathering evidence by documenting each issue that arises. Keep detailed records, including the time the other parent drops off and picks up the children, whether they were on time, late, or didn’t show up, and any other violations of the agreement. Most parents use either a journal, diary, or calendar to keep track of their notes. You should also save text messages, voicemails, audio recordings, and video evidence that can help establish violations of the parenting agreement.
TRY TO RESOLVE THESE ISSUES OUT OF COURT
Before turning to the court, call out the other parent’s behavior and the specific times they violated the terms of the custody agreement. Remind them that if they continue to break the agreement, you will be forced to have an attorney intervene on your behalf. You can also ask your attorney to send a letter to the other parent’s attorney explaining that they aren’t following the parenting plan. By confronting the other parent and discussing the issue, you can determine whether or not their behavior was intentional. It also demonstrates that you are willing to enforce the legal provisions of the custody agreement.
CALL YOUR ATTORNEY
If the direct approach doesn’t work, your attorney will need to file a motion for contempt with the court. This will force the other parent to appear in court and explain to the judge why they have chosen to defy their agreement. Before you file the motion for contempt, make sure you have the documentation to back up your claim.
EXPERIENCED FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS FOR OVER 35 YEARS
Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti have been representing Family Law clients throughout Broward, Dade and Monroe counties for over 35 years. Our Family Law attorneys can help you with Divorce, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Custody and Parenting Plans, Domestic Violence and all areas of Family Law.
Call us for your FREE consultation at 305-653-5555 or complete our form at www.hlalaw.com