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What if a parent does not follow the order for visitation rights?

Florida parents who are no longer together as a couple will likely have a visitation plan in place between the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. In some instances, a parent will not adhere to the plan, taking the step of depriving the other parent his or her visitation rights. If there is a refusal to honor the agreement, the court has several alternatives to deal with the matter.

The court will assess how much visitation was denied, and provide the parent who has not had the visitation rights adhered to extra time to account for what was lost. This will be done as quickly as possible with the best interests of the child paramount. It must also be convenient for the parent who did not get the time with the child that the court ordered. The child and the custodial parent will also be considered. The parent who did not adhere to the agreement might have to pay court costs and attorney's fees for the other parent.

The parent who did not follow the order could be compelled to attend a parenting course that is approved by the court. The parent who did not follow the agreement might also be ordered to do community service, provided it does not affect the child's welfare. The parent who refused to comply could face the financial ramifications of frequent and continuing contact between the child and the denied parent. The parenting plan can be modified to suit the best interests of the child. Finally, the court has the discretion to assess other sanctions that it deems reasonable.

When a child is involved with a couple that has parted ways, the goal is that the child will have visitation and a relationship with both parents. Sometimes, a custody dispute has lingering effects or there is an outright dispute over the child, leading to parents doing something that is a violation of the child custody agreement. For either parent, having legal help in this type of situation is vital.

Source: leg.state.fl.us, "61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court. -- 4(c) When a parent refuses to honor the time-sharing schedule in the parenting plan without proper cause," accessed on June 24, 2017

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