Enforcing a Time-Sharing Agreement in Florida
If you and your former partner have children together and have a parenting plan in place, you may be wondering what your options are if your co-parent violates that agreement. Whether this takes the form of failing to show up for visits, or refusing visitation to a co-parent, the consequences can be serious. Read on to learn more about some of the repercussions of violating a time-sharing agreement in Florida.
Parenting Plans are Legally Binding
Once a time-sharing agreement has been drafted and approved by a judge, it is considered a legally binding court order. This means that a parent who fails to abide by the terms of the agreement could face significant penalties if the parent who has been denied parenting time enforces the order in court. These penalties include fines, modification of the parenting plan, and contempt of court proceedings.
Ordering Make-Up Time
When one parent refuses to honor a time-sharing schedule without proper cause, a judge will calculate how much time the parent was denied and then award that parent extra time to compensate for the time that was missed. This make-up time will be ordered as quickly as possible and scheduled in a way that is convenient for the wronged parent, even if it is at the expense of time with the offending parent.
Paying Court Costs and Attorney’s Fees
In addition to awarding make-up parenting time, the court can also order a parent who didn’t provide time-sharing to pay any court costs and attorney’s fees that the wronged parent incurred when attempting to enforce the parenting plan.
Attending a Parenting Course or Performing Community Service
When enforcing a time-sharing agreement, Florida family law courts can also order the parent who violated the parenting plan to attend a parenting course or perform community service. To satisfy these requirements, the parent will need to pay for and take a class that was approved by the court and receive a certificate of completion. Similarly, the offending parent will also need to certify that he or she completed all necessary community service hours to avoid further sanctions from the court.
Modifying the Parenting Plan
A co-parent’s failure to comply with a time-sharing arrangement could be because of a change in that parent’s circumstances, such as relocation, new job duties, or even health problems. In these instances, it may be in the other parent’s best interests to request a modification of the time-sharing schedule.
Call Today for Help Enforcing Your Florida Time-Sharing Agreement
Failing to honor a time-sharing agreement comes with severe penalties in Florida. If your co-parent is refusing visitation, please call Cairns Law to speak with one of our experienced Largo modification and enforcement of final judgments lawyers about your next steps. You can set up a consultation with our legal team by calling 727-683-1472 or by completing one of our online contact forms today. We are available for evening and weekend appointments.