Intentional Disruption of the Parenting Plan

After a divorce or child custody case, many parents hope that the worst of the chaos is over. The closure of a final order can bring relief to many parents, as it provides a specific set of rules and responsibilities for each parent and no one is left guessing. In some unfortunate cases, though, some parents may attempt to intentionally disrupt the parenting plan going forward, following the entry of the final order. If the other parent in your case is taking steps to intentionally disrupt the parenting schedule and the parenting time, there are some steps you can take to try to restore a sense of calm and order.

The most important first step is always calm communication. If you believe the other parent is disrupting the parenting plan by refusing to go by its terms, it could be that the two of you simply have different interpretations of a particular provision. Having a calm discussion about the plan and what each provision means can help resolve differences before the issues become unreasonable.

If communication is not effective, the next step is to contact your attorney. Your attorney can contact the other parent’s attorney to discuss the particular disagreement and try to work out a mutual understanding of the parenting provision dispute. If the other parent will not listen to you, it is likely that he or she will likely listen to his or her attorney. Even when the other parent is taking steps to intentionally make the parenting plan fail, advice from his or her attorney about the dire consequences to taking such steps may help curtail this type of behavior.

If you are dealing with another parent who is not abiding by the plan, you need an attorney to help you. We have experience assisting our clients resolve their problems with parenting plans. Call us today to talk about your situation.

Finally, when all avenues of communication fail, it may be necessary to file a motion for contempt or to modify. If the parent is intentionally and knowingly disobeying the court order, he or she may be subject to the court’s contempt powers, which may include attorney’s fee awards or even jail time. Moreover, repeated and willful violations can serve as a basis to modify the current parenting schedule. Courts do not take major violations that deprive a parent of visitation time lightly, and attempts to alienate a parent by denying parenting time will be harshly dealt with. Although returning to court may seem an unsavory option, if a parent is particularly intransigent or difficult to deal with, it may be the only solution.

If you have concerns about intentional violations of a parenting plan, call us today at (732) 529-6937. with solutions for your case.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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