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My ex is not honoring the time-sharing schedule, what can I do?

It is very important for any parent involved in a child custody dispute to keep in mind that they have rights. If one parent is being denied the right to see their child, then that parent has legal recourse regarding this and other child custody issues. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney on the matter may help in understanding one's legal options and what steps one can take to resolve the issue expeditiously. Typically, the parent who has been denied time with their child can file a motion to modify the existing parenting plan or a motion to compel the non-complaint parent to honor the time-sharing schedule.

Under existing Florida law, if a parent fails to honor a time-sharing schedule without any proper reason, then the court is required to determine the amount of time which was denied to the other parent and then award the lost time to that parent. The court will take into consideration the best interests of the child and will try to schedule the compensation of the lost time in a manner convenient for all involved. However, any ensuing expenses will be borne by the parent who did not honor the time-sharing agreement.

Furthermore, the court may also order the parent who refused to honor the time-sharing agreement to pay not only the court cost but also attorney's fees resulting from the legal proceeding. They may also be ordered to do some community service, and the court can impose a reasonable sanction against the parent who did not honor the agreement.

It is important for both parties involved in custody dispute to keep in mind that if the party required to pay child support or alimony fails to do so, then the other parent cannot simply deny the other parent time-sharing under an existing parenting plan. Conversely, if a parent refuses to honor the time-sharing agreement then the parent whose time has been denied cannot simply stop making child support or alimony payments. The best way to deal with the matter is to file an appropriate motion in court.

Source: 2014 Florida Statutes, Title VI, Chapter 61, "Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court," Accessed Oct. 27, 2014

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