Robert G. Smith, PLLC

When divorced parents don't comply with custody agreement

Divorce can be hard on children, who love both their parents. They may not understand what is happening between mom and dad other than the fact that one of them doesn't live at home anymore. This is why New York parents need to do all they can to lessen the trauma on their children, both during and after the divorce is finalized.

When the split is not amicable, a custodial parent may try to sabotage the child custody agreement reached in court. They may try to turn the child against the non-custodial parent or withhold visitation rights. In some cases, a non-custodial parent may not exercise their visitation rights, perhaps leaving a bewildered child to cope with a situation they don't understand.

Documentation is key when either parent doesn't honor the child custody arrangement. If a parent is denied visitation rights, they should document the date visitation was denied and the reason for the denial. This parent should also document phone calls to the child and other visits. Likewise, if a non-custodial parent didn't show up for a visit with their child, the custodial parent should make note of this. The main thing in both parents' minds should always be what is in the best interest of their child.

When parents continue fighting each other after the divorce, one may need to take legal action to either enforce or modify the terms of the custody arrangement. They may wish to consult with a family law attorney who may be able to advise them of their rights under the existing custody agreement and what they can do to make the non-complying parent live up to the terms of the agreement.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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