What can you do if your ex won’t follow the parenting plan?
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What can you do if your ex won’t follow the parenting plan?

Whether you recently filed for divorce and have a temporary custody order or have already finalized your divorce and have a final court order regarding custody, you and your ex have a legal obligation to comply with the term set by the courts.

Unfortunately, your ex may resent the divorce or shared custody responsibilities. They may express that resentment by lashing out at you and refusing to comply with custody terms. For example, they might fail to show up for their parenting time, leaving you without child care and without any kind of respite.

Alternatively, they might refuse to let you take your children when you should have parenting time. What can you do when your ex isn’t trying to amicably co-parent with you?

Be reasonable and realistic in your approach to the situation

It is common for tempers to flare after divorce, especially in situations that involve your children. Both parents are probably still hurting from the divorce, and not everyone handles the stress and emotional consequences of a failed marriage in a mature or healthy manner. That being said, you don’t want to fall victim to lashing out or overreacting to minor complications.

For example, while it might be inconvenient to have your ex fail to pick up the children, if they are sick or have to work overtime, there may not be an alternate option. Similarly, if your children have appointments or medical issues, there may be situations where it’s reasonable for your ex to ask you to cancel or reschedule your parenting time.

However, if this kind of behavior becomes a weekly issue or if they simply refuse to give you any parenting time at all, you may need to ask the courts to take action.

Serious issues may justify contempt proceedings

When someone doesn’t just fail to meet certain standards set in a parenting plan but wholesale ignores the court order, the courts may agree that their behavior is inappropriate. In some scenarios, you can initiate contempt of court proceedings that will help pressure your ex into compliance.

You don’t have to worry about costs if your claim is successful, because Ohio law includes provisions that can obligate your spouse to cover court costs when they force you to pursue a motion for contempt.

Whether you need to request a modification of your child support order because your ex doesn’t show up for their parenting time or you want to hold them in contempt because they won’t give you your parenting time, having legal help for this process can increase your chances of a positive outcome.