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What Happens If Your Ex Does Not Exercise His/Her Parenting Time?


The school year is about to begin, and divorced parents feel the same mixture of sadness and relief that their married counterparts feel.  It was nice not to have to drag your kids out of bed in time for school every morning, but you won’t miss coming home from work in the evening and being horrified at how little your children have done in the past 24 hours.  You also won’t miss the whining about the Disney trips and the Yeezy slides that never materialized.  How much of this, the inactivity and the insufficient funds, is because of your ex-spouse?  You try not to calculate, because it would just make you mad.  Your kids were supposed to spend 35 days with their dad over the summer, five weeks, not necessarily consecutive, but instead he took them on most weekends, so they only ended up spending about 18 days with him.  As during the school year, Friday night pickups turned into Saturday noon pickups.  How many meals did you feed your kids that were technically their dad’s responsibility?  It’s pointless to count them, or is it?  Court-ordered parenting plans will not magically make your ex-spouse more reliable, but a Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you resolve co-parenting disputes.

Is It Against the Law to Be a Flaky Co-Parent?

A parenting plan is a legally enforceable court order.  When people go to court to enforce parenting plans, up to and including petitioning the court to hold their ex-spouse in contempt, it is usually because one spouse is refusing to let the other exercise their parenting time.  Perhaps Dad is supposed to be with the kids every weekend, but Mom keeps coming up with excuses not to let him take them.  Grandma is visiting this weekend, Daughter has a debate tournament next weekend, and Mom and the kids have tickets to a play the following weekend.  If Dad has already talked to Mom about this problem to no avail, he should contact his lawyer and possibly get the courts involved.  The court might hold Mom in contempt of court, or it might modify the parenting plan and give Dad even more parenting time.

If the problem is that Dad keeps flaking on his parenting time, though, the better solution is simply to modify the parenting plan to reflect reality.  In other words, child support amounts depend on the number of days the children spend with each parent.  When Dad sees how much more child support he would have to pay if he only spent four nights per month with the children instead of eight, he might become more punctual about picking them up, or he might agree to increase the child support amount.

Contact Schwartz | White About Being Realistic About Co-Parenting

A South Florida family law attorney can help you modify your parenting plan if abiding by your current one is more difficult than you expected.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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