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Enforcing Parenting Time Orders

Do you have parenting time orders? Is the other parent not complying? Feeling stuck?

When a parent denies parenting time to the other parent, this is a sign that that parent is alienating the child from the other parent. Courts do not like to see this type of behavior. This is particularly damaging to young children and will impact their relationship with both parents long term. It is important that if one parent begins to alienate the other parent, that this be addressed as quickly as possible. Luckily, there are two ways that you can ask the court to address this. The first is filing a motion asking that the other parent be found in contempt of the court’s orders and the second is filing a motion asking the court to enforce the parenting time orders.

We recommend the second option - filing a motion asking the court to enforce the parenting time orders. This option is preferable because the court has more potential sanctions available to it once the parent is found to be in violation of the court’s orders. For example, if one parent is denying parenting time to the other parent that was ordered by the court, the parent denying the parenting time is in violation of the court’s orders. If the parent is being denied the parenting time files a motion to find that parent in contempt of the court’s orders and the court finds that the other parent is in contempt of the court’s orders, that parent can be ordered to pay a fine or be sent to jail for up to 6 months.

If the same parent being denied parenting time files a motion to enforce the current parenting time orders and the court finds that the other parent is in violation of the court’s orders by denying parenting time, the court has many options available as sanctions. The parent denying parenting time can be ordered to comply with additional terms and conditions, the court can modify the existing orders, the court can order one or both parents to attend a parenting education class to be paid for by the parent denying parenting time, the court can order family counseling to be paid for by the parent denying parenting time, the court can order that the parent who was denied parenting time be given to make up parenting time, and the court can order the parent who denied parenting time to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and expenses associated with filing any motions filed to enforce parenting time orders.

Additionally, the court can order that the parent who violated the court’s orders by denying parenting time can be required to post a bond to ensure compliance with the court’s orders moving forward. This means that the parent who denied the parenting time will have to pay a certain amount to the court and it will only be returned to them if they comply with the court’s orders for a set period of time. Further, the court can find that the parent who denied the parenting time to the other parent is in contempt of the court’s order and sentence them to jail or impose a fine. The court also has the ability to impose a separate fine of up to $100 for each instance of denied parenting time. Finally, courts are granted a significant amount of leeway in these instances which allows them to get creative and fashion any other orders to promote the best interest of the children.

Get Legal Help Today

If you are being denied parenting time and have any questions about your options, especially in light of the current COVID-19 epidemic our experienced and passionate family law attorneys are here to help. Our assistance and guidance can help you through the process in a, particularly stressful time. If you are need of assistance, please contact our office.

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