My Ex-Spouse/Partner is an Absentee Parent
Even after you and your child’s other parent have a final custody order in place, including parenting plan details for drop-off/pick-ups of shared children, issues may still arise. Just because a final judgment has been issued, does not mean both parties will adhere to it. What do you do if your child’s other parent is not using the visitation they have been allotted? What if they are habitually late or blow off drop-off and pick-ups, or decide they will choose when they want to see their kids? Unfortunately, this situation is not unfamiliar to our attorneys, but we can assist families dealing with post-judgment issues or parental absenteeism. If you are experiencing communication issues, obstinate behavior, or simply cannot convince your ex to see his or her children, contact our family law attorneys at Eveland & Foster, LLC.
Determining Why Visitation is Missed
Before requesting a modification with the court, determine if missed visits are an issue of time or communication. Do established pick-up and drop-offs present a conflict with work? Is your ex no longer able to transport the children between school and each residence due to financial strain? Is your ex dating a new partner or living in a new state without prior notification? Starting a new relationship is not an excuse for missing scheduled visitation time. And, co-parents cannot move out of state without notifying the other parent, gaining approval, and notifying the family court. This is because long distance custody orders can be difficult to enforce or carry out. The distance is cumbersome for both parties and the children and can make it logistically impossible to share physical custody.
Modifying Custody, Visitation, and Support Orders
If your ex-spouse refuses to communicate with you, continues to miss visitation and custody drop-offs, is no longer communicating with your child, or is failing to pay child support without request for a modification, you can request an emergency custody or support modification hearing with a family law judge. You can also file a motion for contempt against the other party for failing to adhere to terms of the custody order, parenting agreement, or divorce judgment delineating split custody or visitation schedules. Assistance is available from the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Tolerating an absentee ex who picks and chooses when they choose to be present for your shared children is not necessary. Inconsistent presence in a child’s life is confusing and unfair. The court may order the other party to attend supervised visitation at an agreed upon location, compel the other party to pay child support arrears, or adjust the child custody arrangement to primary physical custody for you. Modifying custody would most likely change current child support calculations for both parties.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are divorced and share children, you understand the challenges that come with coparenting. Even with an existing parenting plan agreement and a court order, some parties refuse to adhere to the terms of the agreement. If your ex-spouse or ex-partner is no longer taking visitation with shared children, picks and chooses when they decide to see their children or refuses to pay child support, you can file for contempt in court. Your children deserve a constant parental presence in their lives. If their other parent refuses to compromise and does not prioritize time spent with their kids, then the court order should reflect that. Contact Eveland & Foster, LLC. today for a consultation.