Recently, we discussed the issue of people who withhold visitation from their co-parents because they aren't meeting their child support obligations. As we noted, support and visitation are two different matters. They're decided separately by courts, with children's best interests in mind. That means one parent can't keep the other parent from court-ordered access to a child because they're behind on child support.
Parents can run into other issues with visitations that may have nothing to do with child support. For example, what if your co-parent doesn't show up for their scheduled visitations? That can be frustrating for you and heartbreaking for your children. You're the one faced with calming your kids and trying to offer some type of explanation that will make them feel better, whether it's true or not.
Find out your co-parent's reason for not visiting the kids and let them know how their actions are impacting the children. If that doesn't help, you may need to go to court to amend the visitation schedule to one that your co-parent will adhere to.
What if a child doesn't want to see their other parent? Again, communication is key. Talk to your child about why they feel that way. No matter how you feel about your ex, you shouldn't encourage your children to resist visitation. Assuming there's not a health or safety issue, your co-parent has a right to visitation that's been approved by the court.
No child should be forced to visit a parent they don't want to see. If you've tried talking with your child, to no avail, and you're confident that you aren't contributing to the problem by expressing negative feelings about your ex in front of them, you may want to consider working with your ex to shorten or minimize the number of visits temporarily.
If you believe that a change to your noncustodial co-parent's visitation schedule is warranted, it's essential to talk with your Florida family law attorney. "Time sharing" by co-parents, as it's referred to in Florida, is an important concept of family law. It's essential to present a strong case if you seek to change your current time-sharing arrangement.