Help! My Ex Is Ignoring Custody Orders
Custody orders are meant to serve the best interests of your child by ensuring that they can have a stable life while maintaining and developing healthy relationships with both of their parents, so when one parent chooses to ignore these orders, courts take it very seriously. If your ex is violating the terms of your court-ordered custody agreement or parenting plan, it is easy to feel helpless. However, you do have options. When you are dealing with a non-compliant ex it can be highly destabilizing for your child, and emotionally draining for you. It is always a good idea to consult directly with an attorney to learn about the options that may be best in your specific situation, however, we will provide some general guidance here.
What to Do if Your Ex is Violating Your Florida Custody Agreement
The first thing that you can do if your ex is violating the terms of your court-ordered custody agreement is to document it. Start keeping detailed records of each violation, which includes the date of occurrence. These records will serve you regardless of how you choose to proceed. In some cases, you may be able to have a conversation with your ex in order to get them back in compliance or mutually come to a new agreement that they would be able to comply with. For instance, if their work schedule changed and they can no longer keep the same visitation schedule, you and your ex can mutually agree to a new visitation schedule and submit it to the court for approval. The court will almost always approve an agreement that both parents have consented to provided it is in the best interest of the child. Of course, many times co-parents will be unable to come to an agreement on their own. In this case, mediation may be an option. If your ex is unwilling to cooperate, however, there are legal options available. One option that could still keep the matter out of court is having an attorney send a letter to your ex citing all the violations and underscoring the potential penalties for continuing to violate your visitation or custody order. However, you also have the option to go straight to court and file a motion to have your ex held in contempt of court. This essentially means that you are telling the court that your ex has violated a court order, which they have done if they have violated the terms of a court-ordered custody agreement. If your ex is held in contempt of court they can face penalties which can include a fine and even jail time. For many parents, this is the wake up call that they need to be reminded that there are serious consequences for not adhering to the terms of their parenting agreement.
Contact Greater Orlando Family Law Today
If your ex is ignoring or violating the terms of your court ordered custody agreement, you do not have to fight this battle alone. The experienced Orlando divorce attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start taking your power back.