What happens when one parent doesn’t uphold their custody order?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Divorce

Sharing custody in Florida means trying to work together when making important decisions about the children and committing to a time-sharing arrangement. Florida custody orders typically grant both parents some degree of authority regarding major decisions for the children and also time with the children.

Parents usually find a way to adjust to the new schedule and dynamic for their family. However, some people do not handle this change gracefully. They may intentionally try to interfere in the relationship that the other parent has with the children by denying them parenting time. What steps should someone take when their co-parent doesn’t follow an existing custody order in Florida?

They need to document the details

The family courts require evidence whenever one parent makes allegations against the other. To assert that a co-parent has denied visitation, the parent making the claim will need to have records of numerous denied visits. Typically, the parent who doesn’t get time with the children will still need to show up for custody exchanges or visitation despite the unfair cancellation if they want to hold the other parent accountable. They will need to keep a clear written record of every time that the other parent refused to give them access to the children or intentionally shortened their time with the kids.

They may need to request enforcement support

Family law judges in Florida have the authority to take action when they believe that one parent has interfered in the access and parenting time of the other. Frequently, judges will order makeup parenting time and may issue a warning to the parent who refuses to abide by the custody order. Occasionally, severe violations of a custody order may warrant a modification that reduces the offending parent’s time with the children and increases the other parent’s time. Judges may even decide that the parent who did not follow the order is in contempt of court, which could lead to significant consequences.

Both parents should commit to following their custody order and acting in the best interest of the children when they divorce or separate. Taking steps to enforce a custody order can be a smart decision for a parent unfairly cut off from their children after a divorce or separation.