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What Happens If Your Ex-Spouse Does Not Follow The Parenting Plan?


Drafting a parenting plan is a big project.  It is not just a matter of filling in numbers on a form, such that the children are with you for X days per year and with your ex-spouse for (365-X) days.  The parenting plan also includes details about transportation, holidays, and non-emergency medical care, in other words, everything except money.  The goal is for both parents to be able to base their plans on the parenting plan, such as by arranging their own work schedule, family travel, and childcare.  It is incredibly frustrating when your ex-spouse fails to abide by the parenting plan, picking up the children hours later, or even days later, than the parenting plan requires.  It is even more frustrating when you make every effort to exercise your parenting time, but your ex-spouse keeps putting up obstacles.  When this happens, the court usually adjusts the parenting plan to reflect reality, as opposed to imposing criminal penalties, as can happen when a parent disobeys a court order to pay child support.  If your ex is refusing to exercise his court-ordered parenting time or refusing to let you exercise yours, contact a Boca Raton child custody lawyer.

The Parent Who Follows the Parenting Plan Has the Right to the Majority of Parenting Time

A parenting plan is a legally enforceable court order, so if your ex-spouse does not fulfill her obligations as indicated in the parenting plan, you are entitled to legal remedies.  The consequences of disobeying a parenting plan are not as dramatic as they are in cases where a parent fails to pay court-ordered child support.  A parent who does not pay child support as indicated in the child support order can face driver’s license suspension, wage garnishment, and even jail time.  By contrast, if your ex does not abide by the parenting plan, the court can order the following consequences:

  • Ordering your ex to attend parenting classes at his or her own expense
  • Ordering your ex to perform community service
  • Ordering your ex to pay the attorney’s fees you incurred by going to court to enforce the parenting plan
  • Modifying the parenting plan

As for modifying the parenting plan, if your ex is caring for the children on fewer days than the parenting plan indicates, the court can modify the parenting plan to reflect the number of days per year that you currently spend with the children.  This means that, with fewer days of court-ordered parenting time, your ex will be required to pay more child support or entitled to receive less child support.  If your ex is refusing to let you exercise your parenting time, the court can award you make-up parenting time or even designate you as the primary residential parent and then modify the parenting plan accordingly.

Contact Schwartz | White About Dealing With Parenting Plan Noncompliance

A South Florida family law attorney can help you exercise your right to spend time with your children and to have a predictable parenting schedule.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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