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Tips for Enforcing Parenting Time in Massachusetts

Too many times, parents continue to fight with each other even after they have been to Court. One of the main problems faced by non-custodial parents is that of being denied their Court ordered parenting time with their children. Here are some good tips for parents faced with this situation.

When your ex-spouse is denying you the visitation time you deserve, here's the procedure I recommend before you call a lawyer. First, write a letter to the other parent reminding him or her about the parenting schedule. Then describe the ways in which the other parent's behavior seems to you to be inconsistent with what the decree requires. As you write, make sure you confine your description to the behaviors you can observe. Avoid any attempt to describe the motivation for the other parent's behavior or any behaviors you can't observe.

Set a specific date and time (in compliance with the decree) when you will be ready to be with your child or children. Send the letter by certified mail.
Then be at the appointed place at the appointed date and time. Wait 20 minutes. If the other parent doesn't show up with the children, don't make a scene; just go home and write another letter. Again, confine your comments to the behaviors you can observe. Set another date, time, and place. Repeat the process.

If the other parent stands you up twice for appointments that are in compliance with the divorce decree, then you're ready to contact a lawyer and file a Complaint for Contempt. In the Complaint for Contempt, you and your lawyer will ask the judge to enforce the parenting plan, and for the other parent to be required to reimburse you for your attorney's fees and costs associated with the filing of the complaint.

In addition, I have found that it can be helpful to take a witness with you to verify the custodial parent's failure to comply with the Court Order. Also, if the exchange takes place at a business, it is a good idea to purchase a item of nominal value and obtain a receipt to verify that you were present at the designated place and time. 

Contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar by email or telephone 978-844-4095 should you have any questions or concerns regarding your parenting plan.

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Law Offices of Renee Lazar
4308 Thompson Farm
Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 978-844-4095
Fax: 781-687-5807
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