A lot of parents come to us, and they tell us that the other parent is not following the Parenting Orders, and they want to know what their options are to protect their rights.
In Florida, one of the features of our law says that both parties shall encourage and foster a loving relationship between the children and the other parent. Both parties are held to a very high standard of following the parenting orders of the court. Experienced lawyers who represent moms and dads in Florida, and represent clients in child custody cases know that we have a specific law in Florida that allows for the enforcement of time-sharing orders. This is a very clear, and effective law that says that if a parent has violated a Parenting Order, and the court finds that a parent has willfully failed to follow a Parenting Order that the court shall award attorneys' fees to the prevailing parent.
Recently, I had a case where the children were supposed to come back from California after seeing their father for Christmas on a flight from Florida two days before school was supposed to begin. Mom went to the airport to pick up the children, and Father did not put the kids on a plane and, in fact, sent Mom a text message saying, “The kids are staying with me.”
Well, we filed an emergency motion to enforce, and we were successful in not only getting the kids back, but in getting attorneys' fees for my client for having to enforce the Parenting Order.