What Can I Do if My Ex is Constantly Changing Our Parenting Schedule?
Parenting often requires parents to be flexible and make up or change arrangements as they go. Children frequently get sick, injure themselves, and change their minds about what they want to do, making even the best plans difficult to follow. However, when parents get divorced, their parenting time schedules are legally enforceable court orders. Although parents who get along can reasonably agree to temporarily modify their parenting agreement from time to time, a parent who consistently refuses to drop off or pick up children on time or at all can be very taxing. If you are struggling to get your ex to follow the terms of your Illinois parenting plan, read on.
Talk To Your Ex
The first thing you need to do is try to have a conversation with your ex to find out why they are not following the terms of the parenting plan. The best way to do this is over email, where responses can be easily recorded, emotionally neutral, and used as evidence later if necessary. If your ex has a good reason for violating your parenting time schedule, such as a work problem or car issues, you may be able to work together on a short-term solution. Using a mediator may help. However, if your ex either does not respond, is hostile, or does not have a legitimate reason for modifying the parenting schedule, you may need to escalate your response.
Petition for Rule to Show Cause
A petition for rule to show cause is a form that asks a court to require a non-compliant parent to come to court and explain their actions. You, the petitioner, will need to fill out the form with the help of your attorney and provide evidence showing that your ex is non-compliant. You will also need a copy of your parenting agreement from your divorce or modification.
Depending on the respondent’s explanation, whether they have violated the parenting agreement before, and whether a judge believes they are acting in good faith or trying to cause problems, a judge can use a variety of punishments to try to bring someone into compliance. These often include changes to the parenting schedule that reflect the care the child is actually getting; fines; charges of contempt of court, and, in the most extreme cases, jail time.
Documentation is important when bringing a case of parenting agreement non-compliance before a judge. Text messages, emails, photographs, and voicemails may all be helpful. Speak to your attorney before trying to use phone calls as evidence, since recording phone calls between you and someone else without their permission could be illegal.
Call a Kane County Parenting Time Lawyer
It can be incredibly frustrating to have time with your children minimized because of irresponsible actions by an ex. If you are concerned that you may need to take action to ensure you can see your children, call an experienced St. Charles parenting time attorney with Shaw Sanders, P.C.. We help our clients take assertive steps to ensure their parental rights are protected. Call us now at 630-584-5550 to schedule a free case review.