When your divorce is finalized, you are expected to abide by the terms of the divorce decree, time-sharing plan and respect each other’s rights. However, what happens if your ex is not following your time-sharing plan and interfering with your time with your child? What can you do? How can you protect that precious time?
Documentation of violation
First, document the non-compliance every time. Keep a non-compliance diary with the dates, times and reported reasons for non-compliance and any proof of non-compliance. An easy way to create a paper trail is follow up each non-compliance with an email reiterating what you were told by your ex, explaining how it affected you or some similar communication.
Civility and good judgment
Make sure that each communication is calm and respectful.
Ask them to explain their non-compliance in these communications. Use your own good judgment on whether their deviations are occasional good-faith deviations for illness, emergencies, etc. or were made in bad faith.
If your ex-spouse is consistently acting in bad faith and violating your parenting time, it is time to take legal action.
Petition the court
In the court that issued your final divorce decree, you can petition the court to enforce the existing court order, which will include a request to punish your ex-spouse (and co-parent) for their flagrant violations of the court-ordered time-sharing plan and custody arraignments. As part of this petition, you will need to include all of the evidence you collected.
The Palm Beach County family law judge can hold your ex in contempt of court, which can include monetary penalties and even, jail time. The judge can also modify their original order, lessening their parenting time and changing the custody arraignment. In extreme cases, they could even award one parent primary or sole custody.