This isn’t an uncommon issue, unfortunately. One of the biggest issues that Florida courts see is disputes regarding time sharing. Some of the most common issues that arise when it comes to child custody include the following:
What Are My Options?
After a divorce, a court order is entered regarding time sharing with the children; it must be followed by both parties. If not the party not following the order is subject to enforcement proceedings and very possibly, attorneys’ fees will be awarded. In addition, courts are good at assuring that any time missed is made up; what we term ‘make-up contact.
There are several ways that you can go about handling the situation, but here are some tips to get you started. Your child custody lawyer may have different suggestions, so be sure to get advice from your attorney as well.
- Send a Letter to your ex through your attorney documenting the concern specifically, and offering a resolution.
This is often the first step when your ex disobeys the time sharing orders given by the court. You should ask your attorney to write a persuasive letter to your ex-partner to obey the court orders. In the event your ex still doesn’t obey rules, he/she must be ready for legal penalties. Sometimes, a letter from your attorney is all it will take to resolve the issue.
- Offer a non-litigation resolution, such as mediation.
Mediation is a cost-effective, non-litigation way to resolve most of these disputes, and will assist in keeping the stress level of the two parents down. This always benefits the children, and should be the default way to handle such disputes.
- File enforcement, or contempt proceedings with the court.
If your ex is repeatedly breaking the court orders, especially if you have tried the above two options. Have your attorney file a case with the court so you can discuss it with the judge and make alterations in length and visitation times of your ex visits.
- Document everything.
In the case of violation of these orders by your ex, most attorneys will advise you to write down everything whenever your ex disobeys the rules. In addition, write down what you did, and what was his/her reaction when he broke the law, including dates and times.
- File a Contempt of Court Claim
The ex who is disobeying the custody rules has to explain the reason for disobeying the orders to the court. If the judge finds your ex has been blatantly disobeying orders of the court, he or she may be found guilty of contempt of court and could face time in jail, fines, or other penalties.