A divorce sets you back in many ways and can destabilize you emotionally. If children are in the picture, you must agree on a parenting plan with your ex-spouse. Child custody agreements ensure your children maintain a functional relationship with both parents despite the divorce. Sadly, some ex-spouses fail to honor the custody agreement.
If your ex-spouse violates your parenting agreement, you may not know what to do. Your first reaction might be confronting them, but this may only worsen the situation. Instead, it would help to consult men’s rights lawyers in Baltimore, MA, to explore your legal options. They can help you take steps to enforce the divorce decree terms.
What Constitutes a Parenting Plan Violation?
Parenting agreements comprise many terms to protect the well-being of the child. For example, they spell out the decision-making process, child support obligations, and the time each parent should spend with the child. Both parents must uphold the agreement, but violations arise by either party, knowingly or otherwise.
Some parenting plan violations include:
- Not consulting the other parent when making significant decisions concerning the child
- Not allowing the child to communicate with the other parent
- Denying the child their right to go to school
- Denying the other parent their right to spend time with the child or arriving late for pick-ups or drop-offs
- Not paying child support.
- Not adequately protecting the child from dangerous situations.
Reasonable changes are allowed in a parenting plan, but repeat and unreasonable changes that keep happening without your consent amount to severe violations. If you’re currently facing this, you need the help of a father’s rights lawyer in Baltimore to take action against your ex-spouse.
What Steps Should I Take If My Ex-Spouse Violates Our Parenting Plan?
As a father whose parental rights have been violated by the other parent to your child, there are specific steps you can take to try and remedy the situation and fight to have your rights protected.
Document the Violations by Your Ex-Spouse
If you’re to pursue any action against your ex-spouse for violating your parenting plan, you must have evidence. The best approach would be to use a calendar to track the co-parenting plan and note when they fail to follow it. For example, note down when they’re late in bringing the child to you or when they refuse to let the child talk to you.
It would also be helpful to keep a record of their social media activity. The time stamps on social media could come in handy in determining when they didn’t follow through with their parenting plan agreement. For example, if they post a picture traveling with your child outside the city while you should have your time with the child, you could use this against them.
Try to Negotiate with Your Ex-Spouse Outside the Courtroom
Before going back to court to resolve the issues, you may want to try talking to your ex-spouse outside of court. A possible approach would be to have a Baltimore father’s rights attorney write your ex a letter expressing your concerns about the parenting plan violations.
You could potentially resolve the issue and restore your parenting agreement plan if their actions were unintentional. Taking this step is also a show of your commitment to maintaining the agreement and upholding your parental rights.
Change or Create a New Custody Order
Your ex-spouse could have a valid reason for violating your parenting agreement. For example, they could have a material change that prevents them from obeying the plan, like getting a new job where they work longer hours.
In such a case, you can file for a modification of custody arrangements as necessary. If you don’t already have a written agreement in place, take the violations as a sign that it’s time to get one. A men’s rights lawyer in Baltimore can help you secure a parenting and custody order that protects your rights.
You Can Hold Your Ex-Spouse in Contempt for Willful Parenting Plan Violation
If you determine that your ex is intentionally failing to comply with the parenting order to frustrate you and talking to them isn’t yielding any results, you may need to take legal action. Parenting plans are legally binding contracts, and the court can hold your ex in contempt of court for not complying with the order.
Your lawyer can help you file a “Parenting Time Abuse” motion and compile all the evidence you need to present in court. Then, they will help you fight for a favorable outcome in the parenting plan.
What Should I Not Do If My Ex Violates the Parenting Agreement?
Understandably, your ex’s violation of the parenting agreement is hurting you and causing a drift in your relationship with your child. However, no matter how angry you are, avoid doing anything that may further complicate the situation. The law is on your side, and you should follow due process in trying to protect your rights.
Some tips crucial tips to keep in mind during this time include:
- Don’t violate the agreement to get back at your ex: For example, if your ex won’t let you see your child, don’t hit back by withholding child support payments. Doing so will only subject you to penalties by the court.
- Be organized: Keep track of your ex’s violations, including the dates and times.
- Remember that everything you do should be for your child: When dealing with your ex, how you talk to them or handle them should be in your child’s best interests.
A Compassionate Father’s Rights Attorney Defending Your Parental Rights
Even after divorcing your partner, you still want to be in your child’s life, which is why you create a parenting agreement plan. Sadly, your ex-partner may violate the agreement without considering your parental rights. The best thing would be to contact a men’s rights attorney in Baltimore to help you determine the best course of action.
A legal expert from our firm can evaluate your case and ensure you meet the requirements when requesting the court to review your parenting plan. We work hard to protect fathers’ rights in Maryland because courts mostly favor mothers in custody matters. With us, you never have to feel like a stranger in your child’s life. Contact us for a FREE case evaluation.