Breach of Parenting Orders: What are your options?
Don’t confuse Parenting Plans with Parenting Orders. Parenting plans are not legally enforceable just because they are agreed upon by both the parties involving children. To make parenting plans enforceable, you should get Consent Orders from the Court.
The court gives Parenting Orders, directing the parties involved to carry out the parenting arrangement as ruled by the court.
The transition of lives post-divorce is quite a challenge and it would be easy for all the concerned if the parenting plans / parenting orders are complied with. However, in some cases, parenting orders are breached leading to chaos in the child care arrangements.
So, what options you have if your ex is not complying with the parenting orders?
First, you can seek LEGAL ADVICE by family law experts or a community legal help on your next course of action and mediation options. Know your rights and responsibilities well beforehand.
Second, Seek intervention of FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION. A FDR can help in facilitating a meeting and discussion between both the parties and working a way out of disagreements. A parenting plan arrived in such scenario lasts longer and is more effective as both parties would have themselves drawn out the parenting arrangements willingly.
This also saves lot of time, money and of course emotional mayhem, that court hearings and uncertainty of ruling would bring.
And the last option you have is to APPLY TO COURT. Before applying to court, you must have sought Family Dispute Resolution’s intervention and a certificate from an authorized FDR provider.
Parties seeking changes in current parenting orders can also apply to court. Before that, it is advisable to seek competent legal advice to understand your options and likely orders from the court.
You need to file:
a) An application explaining non-compliance of parenting orders from the other party
b) An affidavit
c) A certificate from authorized Family Dispute Resolution provider stating you have sought FDR intervention.
d) And existing Parenting Orders issued by court.
There are fees involved in initiating applications in the court. Check the current court fees here.
If your ex has any judicious reasons for breach of Parenting Orders, he/she may just be able to satisfy the court of their intentions! Some such instances are:
a) The breaching party did not clearly understand the parenting order and its obligations.
b) The party considered breaching of parenting orders necessary in view of safety and health of any or all the concerned parties.
c) The breach was only for a short duration that required safety and health of the child or the breaching party.