What if a co-parent constantly violates time-sharing rules?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Child Custody & Visitation

A Florida parenting plan includes a variety of details to help adults share custody. A parenting plan describes a breakdown of time-sharing responsibilities. It can also designate decision-making authority to both parents for matters related to school and healthcare. Parenting plans also typically include communication standards, including what methods parents can use to communicate with their children while they are in the care of the other adult.

Unfortunately, parents do not always uphold the terms of a Florida parenting plan. One parent could refuse to let the others spend time with the children or interfere in telecommunications as well. What can someone do when their co-parent consistently violates their parenting plan?

They can ask the courts for enforcement

A parenting plan requires review and approval by the Florida family courts. It carries authority like any other court order. Some minor violations could occur due to confusion or unpredictable circumstances. Major violations could lead to state intervention, including allegations of custodial interference that could lead to criminal charges.

It is generally advisable for those co-parenting in Florida to be flexible and understanding with one another, as life can be very unpredictable. However, if the violations are consistent or if they occur with the intention of disrupting a parental relationship, then taking action is likely necessary.

Someone denied time with their children or unable to communicate with them typically needs to document what occurs. The records that they keep will help them convince a family law judge of the ongoing custody violations. A judge can enforce the parenting plan in several different ways.

They can rebuke someone for failing to follow the parenting plan. In some cases, a warning from a judge can be enough to change a parent’s behavior. Other times, judges may recognize that one adult has failed to act in the best interests of the children. They could make significant modifications to the parenting plan. In fact, they could even make the parent denied time with the children the primary caregiver going forward. Occasionally, judges can even hold someone in contempt of court for violating a parenting plan repeatedly. More extreme cases could lead to charges based on someone’s intentional interference with custody.

Ideally, parents sharing time with and responsibility for their children cooperate with one another. No parents should have to give up their relationship with their children to keep the peace. Requesting enforcement support from the Florida family courts may benefit those dealing with repeated parenting plan infractions.