Whether parents settle their custody disagreements via an uncontested family court filing or they must submit to a judge’s determination concerning what they believe is best for their child, both parents have an obligation to one another and their children while they remain subject to the order.
They should do their best to follow the order and uphold its terms. When necessary, parents can make mutually-agreeable adjustments on the fly to their custody plans because of short-term complications or needs that may arise urgently. For the most part, however, the entire family should seek to uphold the custody arrangements as outlined in the order from the family courts because this order is legally enforceable and failing to honor its terms could lead to serious challenges.
Sometimes, one parent may simply refuse to follow the custody order as they should. They may refuse to let the other parent see the children or shorten their parenting time sessions. What custody enforcement options are available for parents in Georgia when situations like this arise?
1. Makeup parenting time
If one parent doesn’t give the other enough time with the children, it is reasonable for the parent denied access to request additional time with the children. In some cases, parents could reach an agreement that allows one parent to make up the time they missed with the children because of the actions of the other without involving a judge. Occasionally, parents will need to go to court to ask for that makeup time because their co-parent refuses to accommodate them after interfering with their scheduled time with the children.
2. Contempt of court penalties
Sometimes, judges will order makeup parenting time or reprimand a parent and remind them that they must abide by the custody order because it carries the full weight of the Georgia family courts. If they still refuse to let the children go as scheduled and ordered with the other parent, a judge might impose penalties for contempt of court including fines and short-term incarceration.
3. Custody order modifications
In situations where one adult has repeatedly shown that they will put their petty vindictiveness ahead of the children’s needs and the custody order, a judge might decide that making changes to in custody order would be the best solution for the family. They might decrease how much time or decision-making authority one parent has when they have refused to put children’s needs first.
A parent who is not getting appropriate time with their children does not have to accept unfavorable circumstances silently. They have the option of asking the Georgia family courts to enforce their custody order and protect their relationship with their children. Knowing that the courts will potentially help support a parent who is being wronged can motivate those who are dealing with child custody disputes to assert their rights with the assistance of a legal professional.