What Happens When a Parenting Plan Fails
If a parent violates a court-ordered parenting plan, they risk being held in contempt of court. Furthermore, they could face custody and visitation consequences if the court considers it a serious enough issue. More specifically, a parent could be held in contempt of court for the following:
- Repeatedly violating visitation times
- Failing to return your child
- Attempting to alienate your child against the other parent (Making them “choose sides”)
- Resisting to allow the child to see the other parent, regardless of the plan.
People may not be fully educated, but being in contempt of court is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Suppose the other parent is successful in having the court hold you in contempt. In that case, you will be facing some severe consequences such as parenting classes, counseling, and attending check-in hearings.
More Penalties For Violating A Parenting Plan
In many cases where a contempt parent denies parent-time to the other parent, the is likely to do the following:
- Assign more make-up time with the child.
- With frequent and extremely serious violations, such as a parent trying to flee the state with the child, the court could also change the custody and visitation rights of the parent in contempt. They can even strip the contempt parent of custodial rights.
- Jail time for the violations
- Enforce compensation for attorney fees and more.
Keep in mind that the judge will usually make modifications to an already agreed-upon parenting plan if they believe the parent is not stable enough to follow the parenting plan in the future. In many cases, the violation of parent plans must be extreme enough to warrant custody penalties. Furthermore, simply failing to return the child a few times should not allow the other parent to pursue you for contempt of court.
What To Do If A Parent Is Not Following The Plan
If a parent refuses to follow the parenting plan, you can do the following actions:
- Gather evidence of violations: Document each violation, such as a calendar of times the plan has been violated. Be as thorough as possible with timestamps of voicemails, emails, texts, or social media posts.
- Mediation can help: Sometimes, you can resolve your issues without going to court. You can try to use a third party that can provide unbiased solutions to help both parties remain friendly and understanding.
- Talk to an attorney: If none of the previous work, you can discuss filing for contempt with an attorney, the court will then enforce the parenting plan.
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