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What if a parenting plan is not being followed?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Child Custody |

In Oregon, family legal disputes can be complicated and difficult. This includes divorce, property division and spousal maintenance. If there are children, issues related to custody, support and parenting time are even more complex because the parents will have their own goals in mind and the best interests of the child must simultaneously be considered. When there is an established parenting plan, it is imperative that it be adhered to. If it is not, the parent who is not getting the mandated parenting time should understand what the enforcement options are.

How to enforce a parenting plan

According to state law, if there is a problem with a parenting plan being followed and a parent requests that it be enforced, a hearing must be set within 45 days of the filing of a motion. Some cases are simply due to a misunderstanding or acrimony between the parents hindering effective communication. Often, parents are required to consult with a mediator before the court case moves forward. This can be useful if the parents are willing to discuss their issues reasonably. Perhaps negotiation can ease the process and they can trade days and be flexible to avoid rising tensions and the need for court intervention.

If, however, negotiation proves fruitless or the parents are unwilling to take part in it at all, the case will be heard by the court and a determination will be made based on the evidence. The court can make up for missed parenting time by ordering more time for the parent who did not receive the time he or she was supposed to; it can modify the parenting plan; there can be extra conditions added to the parenting plan that is already in place; it might order the parent who violated the parenting plan to pay money to the court to ensure the parenting plan is followed and lose that money if it is not; it can order counseling and parent education; spousal support can be modified or stopped; or there can be a custody hearing.

Seeking legal remedies for parenting plan issues may require experienced advice

Child custody and parenting time problems can be damaging for the child. Provided it is safe, it is important that the child have time with both parents and for the custodial and non-custodial parent to be cognizant of their options regarding parenting time. It is possible that the accused parent did nothing in violation of the parenting plan. Or there could be a minor dispute that escalated and can be worked out amicably. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to have professional assistance throughout the process.