A member asked about 9 years ago

Contact hours and visitation

I don't agree with the child contact and visitation rights awarded to my spouse by the Family Court. Do I have to comply with them? What if I think they're not in the best interests of my child?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor
Hi there. A parenting order is a set of orders made by a court about parenting arrangements for a child. A court can make a parenting order based on an agreement between the parties (called ‘consent orders’) or after a court hearing or trial. A parenting order may cover who the child lives with, contact hours, allocation of parental responsibility, etc.
It sounds like a parenting order has been made by the Family Court with respect to your child and spouse. The law says that you must comply with the terms of a parenting order. In doing so, you must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the order is put into effect. This means that, if the parenting order requires your child to spend time with your spouse, you must not only ensure your child is available but you must also positively encourage your child to see your spouse.
You must comply with a parenting order until it is formally changed by a court. If you do not comply with the parenting order, another person (such as your spouse) may file an application alleging you have breached the parenting order. If the court agrees that you have breached the parenting order without a reasonable excuse, you may be awarded a penalty. The precise nature of the penalty will depend on your personal situation and the seriousness of the breach.

Suggested way forward

When a parenting order is made, either through consent orders or at a hearing, the court is required by law to take into account the best interests of the child. If, however, you think the parenting order is not in the best interests of your child or you otherwise disagree with the order, you can try changing the parenting order through family dispute resolution – a less formal and cheaper method of resolving disputes than court. If an agreement cannot be reached, you may consider applying to a court for an amendment to the parenting order.

Family law matters can be complex and you should seek legal advice before deciding what to do. A lawyer can help you understand your responsibilities under the parenting order, and how you may be able to change it without having to go to court. By pressing the “Take Action” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered almost 9 years ago   Legal disclaimer

Val Antoff
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