Over 30 Years Experience Focused In Divorce & Family Law

What Should I Do If My Parenting Time Agreement Isn’t Working?

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Family Law |

The dissolution of a relationship where children are involved can mark the beginning of complex negotiations and structured arrangements around parenting time. These court-ordered schedules, or agreements made between parents, are designed to provide stability and fairness for both the adults and, most crucially, the children. However, what happens when these well-intentioned plans go awry? How can you navigate the legal landscape to correct or alter a parenting time agreement that no longer serves the family’s best interests? The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins is here to provide practical solutions to your legal needs.

Understanding the Significance of Parenting Time Agreements

Parenting time agreements, also known as visitation schedules, are the foundation of co-parenting post-divorce. Their significance cannot be overstated; they dictate when a child spends time with each parent. They’re legally binding, and adherence to them is not only best for your children’s routine and emotional well-being but also vital for maintaining respectful and cooperative relations with your co-parent. When issues arise, addressing them constructively and effectively is critical.

Recognizing Common Issues

Communication Breakdown

One of the most frequent problems in adhering to a parenting time agreement is a need for more appropriate communication between ex-partners. Misunderstandings and neglected adjustments to the plan can lead to stress and conflict.

Scheduling Discrepancies

Life is unpredictable, and rigid schedules can become impractical. Disagreements can occur when one party seeks adjustments to the agreed-upon parenting time without proper negotiation.


Unfortunately, there are instances where one parent consistently violates the terms of the agreement. This can be highly disruptive and damaging to the family dynamic.

Steps Toward Resolution

  1. Open and Honest Dialogue: The first and often most effective step is to initiate an open conversation with your co-parent. A mediator can help structure a forum for discussion, fostering constructive dialogue and agreement.
  2. Professional Mediation: Should direct dialogue fail, consider the assistance of a professional mediator. This neutral third party can help guide the negotiation process toward a mutually beneficial outcome, often averting the need for legal intervention.
  3. Legal Modification: If an alteration of the agreement is necessary, it’s time to involve an attorney. They can draft and file the required legal documents to amend the existing parenting time order through the court system.
  4. Enforcement Proceedings: If the issue is severe and ongoing non-compliance is a concern, enforcing the agreement through legal proceedings may be necessary. Your attorney can advise on the steps required to protect your rights and your child’s well-being. 

Improving Your Co-Parenting Moving Forward

No matter the nature of the issue, it’s essential to keep communication channels open. Actively listen and address any grievances respectfully. Prioritize your child’s well-being and be flexible when necessary. If needed, consider taking co-parenting classes or seeking a therapist to help you overcome your communication challenges. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and remember that co-parenting is an ongoing process.

You’re Not Alone

When a parenting time agreement falters, it’s an opportunity for mature handling and resolution. By opening communication channels, seeking mediation, turning to legal recourse when needed, and availing yourself of the various support networks, you affirm your commitment to your children’s well-being. 

Remember, you’re not alone in the challenging space of co-parenting and custody agreements. For personalized legal counsel on modifying your parenting time agreement, consider the support of The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins. Contact us today