enforce a Florida parenting plan

In Florida child custody cases, parents will be required to submit a parenting plan for court approval. The parenting plan outlines how the parents will share the custody, responsibilities, and decision-making authority for the children. Once approved, it will be binding and sanctions can be issued if it becomes necessary for a judge to enforce a Florida parenting plan. If your child’s parent has failed to comply with the parenting plan you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for assistance with how to enforce a Florida parenting plan. The legal action to enforce a Florida parenting plan should be based on the specific facts of each case.  A child custody attorney in Tampa can help advise on your specific circumstances.

Enforce a Florida Parenting Plan with Sanctions

There are many different types of sanctions a Florida family law court can order to enforce a Florida parenting plan. The penalty most often enforced is a sanction that requires the parents to offset the missed visitation. In fact, Florida family law requires the court to “award the parent denied time a sufficient amount of extra time-sharing to compensate for the time-sharing missed.” Further, the expenses for such time-sharing adjustment must be paid in full by the noncompliant parent. The noncompliance does not need to be caused by a willful disregard for the parenting plan. Rather, a parent needs only to prove the other parent failed to comply with the parenting plan without proper cause. See Florida child custody case Cummings v. Cummings.

Ordering additional visitation to make up for noncompliance is just one possible sanction. For instance, a court may also order the noncompliant parent to:

  • Pay the compliant parent’s court costs and attorney’s fees
  • Attend a court approved parenting course
  • Do community service
  • Pay the costs incurred by the children having frequent and continued contact with the parent
  • Hold the noncompliant parent in contempt of court – contempt is typically reserved for cases where awarding additional visitation have proven ineffective
  • Modification of the parenting plan

Enforce a Florida Parenting Plan Outside of Court

A parent should not retaliate or resort to self-help when the other parent fails to comply with the parenting plan. Instead, a case to enforce a Florida parenting plan should be filed in a court of law. A parent’s noncompliance does not permit the other parent to take matters into their own hands and disregard their own obligations under the parenting plan. Further, withholding child support payments or alimony is not permitted as retaliation for failure to abide by a parenting plan. See http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14140250358304239089&q=596+So.+2d+1117&hl=en&as_sdt=40006 Florida v. Lemaster.  This holds true even if the noncompliance is willful and intentional. If a parent has failed to comply with the terms of the parenting plan you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for assistance.

Enforce a Florida Parenting Plan with Modification

Under Florida family law, a child custody order or parenting plan can be modified if there has been a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances and the proposed change is in the child’s best interests. In some cases, failure to abide by a parenting plan may be deemed a substantial change in circumstances that would justify a parenting plan modification. However, parenting plans cannot be modified without first providing adequate notice and conducting a court hearing on the matter. Therefore, a case to enforce a Florida parenting plan will likely have to be filed in Florida family law court.

Modification of parenting plans as a sanction to enforce a Florida parenting plan is normally a last resort, the court will typically exhaust some of the other sanctions prior to modifying the parenting plan for noncompliance. See Rahall v. Cheaib-Rahall. Further, any modification based on noncompliance must also be in the best interests of the child. However, there may be other legal grounds to modify your parenting plan. For legal advice on modification of a parenting plan contact a child custody attorney in Tampa.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

A skilled child custody law firm in Tampa can make a big difference in an initial child custody case or to enforce a Florida parenting plan. If you are seeking to enforce a Florida parenting plan or trying to prevent a unjustified enforcement claim contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a child custody attorney in Tampa. With years of experience in litigation, we are more than ready to stand firm for what is fair. We understand how important child custody matters are and work tirelessly to protect our client’s rights and do what’s best for the child. To speak with a child custody lawyer in Tampa call us today at 800 990 7763.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enforce a court order for child support?
Do I need an attorney to enforce a court order?
What if a parent violates the parenting plan?
How do I enforce an Alimony Order?
8 replies
  1. Theresa S.
    Theresa S. says:

    I am looking for advice and possible legal aide.
    How do I enforce shared custody?
    I’ve been divorced for six years, my daughter is now 13 yrs old. Through the past year, her father ” kicked her out” for six months, because he couldn’t deal with her. Now for the past three, she has been with him more than me because she didn’t like me taking her phone away, aka, disciplining her due to poor grades.
    Since she has been with him the majority of the time, she is doing horrible in school, SUSPENDED, and being kicked out of Honors classes.
    I don’t want to deny her access to her father, BUT, I do want primary custody, or at least enforce what we have been doing for the past 5 yrs.
    Please, I beg, any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Theresa S.

  2. Pamela H
    Pamela H says:

    I am looking for advice. Me and my ex have just created a temporary parenting plan and I forgot to mention during mediation that I have a vacation scheduled, which just happens to be when he is supposed to have his first 2 day visitation. He was just taken off supervised visitation. I don’t want to be held in contempt. Can I safely still go on vacation?

  3. Ron B.
    Ron B. says:


    I am at a massive loss and have almost given up on seeking help. I have had several people swear they can show me what to file and how to fill out stuff properly and each time they never do.

    I have not seen my daughter since Jan 2009. Her mother only talks to me when she feels like it and until this year I have had no verbal contact with my Daughter at all.

    She will be 12 this year and soon I will have missed her entire life. I work and I pay my support all I want is time with my daughter.

    Ive nicely asked when I can meet halfway and bring her to see her family here and I always get the run around. All of my family is older and they are all dying shell never know anyone. I hope you can help me.

  4. Diana G.
    Diana G. says:

    HI, I have a parenting plan that was set in motion in 2011 but my daughters father has never followed. One of the requirements was that both parents agree for her to have an active passport but he keeps giving me the run down and I,ve been after it for several years with no luck. What can I do?


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