Procedure when parents miss visitation time

Custodial parents in Florida may wonder what happens if the non-custodial parent does not take the designated parenting time that they are assigned. This can be frustrating for the custodial parent, and as a result, they may return to court and try to get the visitation time modified. However, some experts point out that this may not be in the best interests of the child. Rather than taking steps to increase the separation even more, it is better if the custodial parent is able to work toward solutions that will keep the other parent involved in the child's life.

Furthermore, in Florida, courts lean toward sharing parental responsibilities. The only circumstances in which this is not the case is when it is detrimental to the child. A court will make a determination based on the child's best interests, so neglecting visitation may not be sufficient reason to end the agreement. Parents who are divorcing may wish to work with family law attorneys in order to help ensure that agreements that suit all parties regarding parental rights are more effectively negotiated.

Even in an amicable divorce, it is best to settle matters regarding children through legal channels. This allows greater protection for both parents and for the children. Furthermore, if changes do need to be made in custody and visitation arrangements, attorneys can assist with these as well.

This may be necessary even if both parents are holding to the custody and visitation arrangements as originally agreed. Variables including changes in employment, changes in family status or a move may result in the need for renegotiation. For example, several years after a divorce, a noncustodial parent might remarry, have another child and change jobs. These changes might result in the need to reschedule time with children from the previous marriage.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ", accessed on Jan. 20, 2015

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