Post-Divorce Problems With The Parenting Plan
Your divorce was finalized, and you thought the hard part was over. Unfortunately, your former spouse is less than cooperative when it comes to living up to the terms of the parenting plan, and it’s making your life miserable. You’ve tried to talk it out, but gotten nowhere, and you feel powerless and frustrated. What are your options now? A local family law attorney can provide guidance going forward.
Enforcing an Order
Your parenting agreement has been sanctioned by the court. If there is an urgent matter, you can always call the police, who technically have the ability to enforce the court order. Oftentimes, however, they are reluctant to get involved in civil matters, and may simply issue a ticket without actually removing children from one parent’s home unless there is an imminent safety issue. While this may provide you with some documentation of the issue, it may not satisfy your desire to spend time with your kids. Now what?
Should you go Back to Court?
Taking the matter before the judge is another option, but it is a serious step and requires careful consideration. The last thing you want is to make the judge believe you are issuing petty complaints in order to make life more difficult for your ex. Are your concerns minor issues like the occasional late pick-up–something that could be reasonably addressed without the court’s intervention? Is it possible that a minor tweaking of the parenting agreement would resolve the problems? Or does it go deeper—leaving you to have genuine concerns about the safety or development of the kids, or of your relationship with them? Some issues that you might want to consider sharing with the judge include:
- Your former spouse regularly cancels exchanges for your visitation;
- Your children are frequently missing school, doctor’s appointments, or court ordered counseling sessions;
- Your spouse is battling with addiction or mental health issues that put your children at risk;
- You are denied contact with your children for an extended period of time.
Preparing for your Appearance
In order to make the best impression in court, you’ll want to be certain that you have carefully documented any violations of your court sanctioned parenting agreement. Include times, dates, and descriptions of issues, as well as other documentation that supports your allegations. Personal phone records, emails and texts, along with any police reports related to the issue will be helpful in documenting a pattern of behavior that is contrary to the agreement. A judge can then make adjustments to the parenting plan, change legal custody, give you additional time with your children to make up for lost visitation, and/or and instruct your ex to pay for your court costs. The judge could even hold your former spouse in contempt, which could result in time behind bars and other sanctions.
Advocating for You
The knowledgeable Boca Raton family law attorneys at WiseLieberman have the experience and know-how to get you through tense issues. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.