Here’s What To Do If Your Ex Isn’t Following Custody Orders
You may have thought that the hardest part of the custody process was over when the judge put custody orders into effect, however, for many parents the process only becomes harder from there. If your ex isn’t following your custody orders by missing or overstaying visitations, failing to make child support payments, or preventing you from seeing your children, you may be feeling frustrated and unsure of where to turn for support. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to make sure your ex complies with the court-ordered parenting plan.
Steps to Take if Your Ex Isn’t Following Custody Orders
- Keep records of all violations. The first thing to do is to start keeping a record of all violations of the existing court-ordered parenting plan agreement. If your ex is late returning your children from visitation or fails to show up, makes efforts to turn your children against you, or misses a child support payment, be sure to document this. A thorough and well-supported record is a good weapon to have in your arsenal regardless of which path you end up taking.
- See if you can resolve the issue with your co-parent. If you are able to stay out of court, it is always easier and more cost-effective. You may be able to talk to your co-parent about the violations and get back on track or come to a new agreement that they will be better able to comply with. If you are unable to communicate effectively one-on-one, you may be able to do so with the help of a mediator. Alternatively, you can have an attorney draft a letter citing the violations to send to your co-parent so that they understand the severity of their actions and the potential consequences they could have.
- Take legal action. If other attempts to resolve the issue fail, you can file a motion with the court to hold your ex in contempt of court. Your ex can be held in contempt of court for violating any of the terms of your parenting plan and they can face real consequences as a result.
- Request a modification to the custody order. If the existing custody agreement is no longer in the best interest of the child you can petition the court to make a modification. For instance, if your ex now has a substance abuse issue or has consistently missed visitation appointments, it is likely not in your child’s best interest to subject them to that. The court makes parenting plans and custody orders based on what is in the best interest of your child, so if circumstances have changed such that that is no longer the case, a modification may be appropriate. You can consult with an attorney to determine how likely a modification is to be awarded in your case.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Office Today
Bubley & Bubley can help if your ex is failing to comply with your court-ordered parenting plan. Contact our Tampa family lawyers today to schedule a consultation.