Divorce, as a whole, involves conflict, but issues surrounding the children can be especially contentious. It takes a lot of work to come up with a parenting plan, whether you two created the terms yourselves or the judge had to make the decision. It may bring you relief once that part is over.
However, what if your ex does not follow the time-sharing agreement? Perhaps he or she denies you of your rightful time with the children or is always late to pick up or drop off the kids. Whatever the issue, you have options to resolve it.
First, talk to your ex to find out if obstacles get in the way of following the schedule. Perhaps a change in work shifts or a move to a farther home contributes to the lateness. Maybe certain days have opened up more, causing your ex to keep the kids as long as possible for quality time. If it is not a vengeful act, a simple modification of the original order may suffice.
The court will check that the change in circumstances is substantial, material and unexpected. Then, the court will ensure that the modification will be in the children’s best interests. An important factor is whether the new schedule still allows the children to have a close relationship with each parent. Another is if you and your ex will honor the new arrangement and be flexible when reasonable.
In some cases, your ex may refuse to cooperate for no good reason. You will have to go to court to enforce the time-sharing schedule. You will receive, at your convenience and at your ex’s expense, your share of time you missed. The judge may force your ex to pay your legal fees, attend a parenting class or participate in community service. You may also be able to get a modification.