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Divorce, parenting time, and “giving up” on the kids, P.2

Previously, we began considering the challenges parents can face in managing custody and parenting time after divorce, particularly when the couple has significant political, moral and religious differences relating to how the kids are raised. To be sure, the most substantial of these differences should be addressed in the couple’s custody plan so that couples are clear about their rights and duties with regard to custody and parenting time.

That being said, custody arrangements cannot address all disagreements and disputes between parents, nor prevent these disputes from impacting custody and visitation issues in practice. Parents do need to be aware of their rights and duties as laid out in their custody plan, but also how to address problems when they arise

When personal differences between parents do result in problems for parents, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to address the matter, in court if necessary. For instance, if a parent is not obeying a parenting time order, the order can be enforced in court by some appropriate means. Depending on the nature of the dispute, this can involve participating in alternative dispute resolution, modifying the parenting plan or custody order, imposing makeup parenting time, or initiating a civil contempt hearing.

If a parent is violating the custody order by refusing to return the child according to the terms of the order, a parental kidnapping charge may need to be filed, which could involve police and prosecutors.  

A more challenging issue than either of the above situations that parents can face is parental alienation syndrome. We’ll say more about this issue in our next post.

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Divorce, parenting time, and “giving up” on the kids, P.2 | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC