The terms included in a North Carolina parenting plan will somewhat restrict the personal freedoms of the parents who are subject to the order. They typically cannot leave the state permanently with the children or travel internationally without getting approval first. They also must generally abide by the division of both parenting time and decision-making authority as outlined in their custody order.
Although it takes time, most families eventually adjust to the challenges of co-parenting. Unfortunately, not all parents in North Carolina happily accept the obligation to co-parent. Some of them resent the ongoing interactions with the other parents and will try to force them out of their children’s lives.
One parent repeatedly refusing to facilitate the other’s parenting time or shortening parenting time could strain the relationship that parent has with the children and violate the North Carolina parenting plan put in place by the courts. How can people respond to a co-parent refusing to uphold the terms of a parenting plan or custody order?
The North Carolina family courts have the authority to enforce a custody order. If one parent won’t follow the rules set by the courts, then the other parent can request a hearing. A judge can then enforce the order. That process could include declaring someone in contempt of court, or it might involve ordering make-up parenting time. In some cases, a judge may even adjust the existing parenting plan because of one parent’s consistent refusal to follow the existing one.
Of course, to enforce the parenting plan, someone first has to establish that violations have occurred. The parent not getting full access to the children as they should will need to document every time the other cancels their visitation or cuts their time short. Those records can help convince a judge that one parent has chosen to inappropriately interfere in the other’s relationship with the children.
Sometimes, parents can resolve custody disputes just by discussing the matter with each other, but going to court is frequently necessary when one parent doesn’t see anything wrong in actively interfering in the other’s relationship with their children. Knowing what steps to take when facing challenges related to a North Carolina custody order can help parents to empower parents to seek legal guidance in order to better the relationship they have with their kids.