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When One Side Won’t Comply With The Parenting Plan


You had high hopes that you and your former spouse would be able to get your act together for the sake of the kids after the divorce.  You agreed to a parenting plan that seemed reasonable and fair, and set forth to demonstrate a healthy respect for your ex while maintaining significant contact with your children.  But post-divorce, it just hasn’t worked out that way.  It seems there’s constantly a reason for your former spouse to withhold the kids—whether it’s a visitation or a simple phone call.  Or perhaps you are a custodial parent whose former spouse has taken the kids out of state without your consent. In either scenario time is passing, and you are beginning to wonder what kind of impact this is having on the emotional development of the kids. What can you do?

Contempt of Court 

If you’ve tried everything else and your ex absolutely will not cooperate to afford you time with your children, you have a serious problem that requires serious action.  One option is to file a Motion for Civil Enforcement or Contempt. This is essentially your primary route to informing the court that one parent is out of compliance with the parenting agreement.


During a hearing, both you and your former spouse will have a chance to present evidence of compliance/non-compliance.  There may be documentary evidence, witness testimony, and other artifacts that are offered.  Then it’s up to the court to determine whether the time -sharing plan has been violated and what should happen next.

Potential Outcomes 

It’s possible the court will find that the offenses are minor issues that needn’t take up any more time of the court.  On the other hand, if it finds that one parent made serious mistakes in carrying out the agreements laid out in the parenting plan, the consequences for the offending parent could be severe:

  • The offending party may have to pay court and legal fees associated with the case;
  • The offender may be sent to jail for a period of time;
  • Community service may be required;
  • The parent who had been denied parenting time may be granted time to compensate for previous losses;
  • A whole new parenting plan may be written to benefit the party whose rights have been violated.

Moving Forward 

It is often stressful to deal with a former spouse who refuses to act in the best interests of the children and chooses to violate a court sanctioned parenting plan.  At some point, you may find yourself in need of legal counsel in order to enjoy the time you deserve with your own children.  The knowledgeable and determined Boca Raton child custody attorneys at WiseLieberman are prepared to go to battle on your behalf. Schedule a confidential consultation today.



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