November 25, 2015

Enforcing Parenting Time

Enforcing parenting time order becomes an issue in some cases once divorce decree is granted. Although the facts and circumstances vary from one case to another. However, a common scenario involves a custodial parent failing to follow the court order pertaining to parenting time or visitation. No matter the underlying cause, when a parenting time order is not followed a procedure exists to get it enforced.

Purpose of Parenting Time

Parenting time as a concept is a substitute for what historically was known as visitation. The theory behind parenting time is that no parent should be relegated to the position of being a mere visitor in the life of his or her child. Parenting time with a child should be reasonable and regular, sufficient to ensure meaningful contact between that a child and the noncustodial parent.

Motion Enforcing Parenting Time

The process of enforcing parenting time order begins with filing an order with the court. The motion is filed in the court where the original divorce decree or custody and parenting time order was entered by a judge.

A motion enforcing parenting time can be a complicated legal document. The motion must contain certain elements. If these are not properly included in the motion, a judge may not even consider the request being made by the person seeking to enforce a parenting time order.

Because of the nature of this type of court case, a person is wise to seek legal assistance. An experienced attorney is in the best position to prepare and pursue a motion to enforce parenting time.

Sanctions for Violating a Parenting Order

Judges take parenting time orders very seriously. The purpose of parenting time is to ensure that both parents are able to develop a meaningful, healthy relationship with a child. A judge takes a dim view of anything that improperly interferes or impedes that objective.

A judge is able to impose a variety of sanctions on a person who violates or interferes with a parenting time order. These include monetary sanctions. In a case in which a custodial parent has consistently interfered with the noncustodial parent’s right to parenting time, a judge is even able to change custody.