In Florida family law cases, children can easily get caught in the middle of parents who are still engaging in lingering disputes over the breakdown of their relationship. Although the court strives to ensure the child has sufficient contact with both parents and there is a parenting plan in place to achieve that end, some parents do not adhere to it.
For parents who think they are not getting the access to the child they are entitled to under the law and the child is being “kept” from them, it is important to remember not to take the law into their own hands. They need to think about their options and take the necessary steps to get their parenting time.
Parents have rights under the law
When the court has ordered a parenting plan, it will detail when and where the child will be. The plan itself can vary on myriad factors, but an example of a parenting plan might be the child is with the custodial parent during the school week and goes to stay with the other parent for the weekend. The non-custodial parent could have extended time with the child during the summer and other school breaks. This can be organized so there is as little disruption as possible and the child has some form of consistency.
For parents who are on good terms, this is rarely a problem and any requests to alter or change the parenting plan for a short time or permanently can be discussed and negotiated with a good chance at a favorable resolution for the parents and the child. In cases where a parent claims that the other parent is keeping the child from them, it is more complex.
Many parents could react emotionally and make the mistake of refusing to return the child or engaging in an argument with the other parent to make matters worse. It is wise to let the courts do their job and handle these issues.
There are instances when the parent is justified in not letting the other parent see the child. If there is domestic violence, there are concerns about domestic violence taking place, the parent is worried that the other parent could abscond from the state or country or other viable fears, it could be sufficient to deny parenting time.
Legal options for parenting plans
If the child will be safe and no other issues exist making it reasonable to deny parenting time, the non-custodial parent has the right to see the child. Failure to do so warrants legal intervention. A parent who is confronted by this issue needs to maintain their calm and let the law handle the matter. Knowing what can be done about these emotionally challenging family law circumstances is the priority to reaching a positive outcome.