Working out a parenting plan that is not only in the best interests of the child but fair to both parents can be a difficult, drawn-out process. That being the case, it’s no wonder that you may feel frustrated and angry if you feel that your ex-spouse is violating it. Persistent violations over time may be grounds to go to court to enforce the parenting plan. However, if you remain calm, rational, and patient, you may be able to resolve the issue with your ex without having to return to court. Here are some things you can do before reopening legal proceedings.
1. Identify a Pattern
If your ex is late returning the child from visitation once or twice, that may be an oversight or an honest mistake rather than a parenting plan violation. On the other hand, if your ex is consistently late returning the child, that is a different matter. A parenting plan violation consists of systematic and repeated failure to comply with the parenting schedule. If it gets to the point where you must take your ex back to court to enforce the parenting plan, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your ex’s noncompliance is repeated and systematic.
2. Communicate with Your Ex
However, before you automatically assume that your ex is willfully depriving you of your rightful time with your child, communicate your concerns. It may be an honest misunderstanding that you and your ex can work out on your own without the court’s involvement.
If there are guidelines regarding post-divorce communication with your ex, you should of course follow them, but if not, you may open the lines of communication with a face-to-face conversation. If the behavior persists after that, you can try communicating in writing, referring directly to the parenting plan as detailed in the divorce agreement. It may also be a good idea to send a copy to your ex’s attorney, who may be more persuasive at convincing your ex to cooperate.
3. Remain Cordial
It is difficult when you are frustrated by your ex’s behavior, but in all your communication with your ex, remain cordial. Choose the method of communication that will allow you to do this most effectively. For example, if you feel like you may lose your temper during a face-to-face discussion, contacting your ex through writing may be the more constructive solution. Antagonizing your ex is unlikely to yield the result you want.
If you need legal advice about post-divorce dealings with a difficult ex, a child custody lawyer in Dallas, TX may be able to provide it after performing an assessment of your situation. Contact a law office for more information.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and dealing with parenting plan violations.