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What Are The Penalties For Violating A Parenting Plan In Florida?


Under Florida law, parents must create a parenting plan when getting a divorce or establishing paternity. When the judge approves the parenting plan, it becomes a legally binding and enforceable document that must be followed by both parents.

However, a parent may struggle to adhere to the parenting plan and end up violating it. Below, we will discuss the penalties for violating a parenting plan in Florida.

If you are worried that you may not be able to comply with the parenting plan or have already violated some of its terms, do not hesitate to contact our Orlando family lawyers at Donna Hung Law Group to discuss your options.

Penalties for failure to comply with the parenting plan in Florida

Section 61.13, Florida Statutes, encourages a child’s continuing and frequent contact (visitation) with both parents. When a married couple shares children and their marriage ends, they must file a parenting plan along with a timesharing plan.

The timesharing plan is based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to each parent’s current living situation, ability to provide a safe, loving, and stable environment for the child, and many others.

When a court approves the parenting plan, it will issue a court order. Either party’s failure to comply with the plan can result in penalties such as:

  • Awarding extra time to the wronged parent;
  • Requiring the violating parent to attend mandatory parenting classes;
  • Requiring the non-compliant parent to attend community service; and
  • Requiring the violating parent to pay legal and attorney’s fees incurred by the other parent when enforcing the parenting plan.

However, a parent may be able to avoid penalties for failure to comply with a parenting plan by changing or modifying the existing plan.

How to modify a parenting plan to avoid penalties?

When a parent has valid reasons for not complying with the parenting plan, they could be able to petition the court to modify the timesharing arrangement and avoid penalties.

A parent may submit Form 12.905(a), also known as the “Supplemental Petition to Modify Parental Responsibility, Visitation or Parenting Plan,” under one of the following circumstances:

  1. A parent has a hard time adhering to the existing timesharing arrangement because of changes to their living situation;
  2. A parent is unable to provide for the child financially due to changes in employment, earnings, or health status (for example, the parent was diagnosed with a serious illness or disabling condition); or
  3. There has been evidence of child abuse or neglect in the other parent’s home, or the parent has alcohol or drug problems that put the child at risk.

Note: The other parent’s failure to pay child support cannot be used as grounds to stop complying with the parenting plan. If this happened, you should speak with an Orlando timesharing & parenting attorney to explore your legal options and enforce the court order.

Failing to adhere to the parenting plan can result in significant yet avoidable penalties. Talk to our family lawyers at Donna Hung Law Group to find out how to avoid penalties for violating the parenting plan in Florida. Call 407-999-0099 to schedule a consultation.