One of the most important things that a court can do is enter orders pertaining to your children. It is vital that parents have regular contact with their children, and if you have been the primary caretaker, it is important for that role to continue for the benefit of the children.
And sometimes when a marriage must end, the parents agree that each has been a good parent, and the stay at home parent recognizes that the other parent should spend time with the children. But, when the other parent does not avail himself or herself of his or her court ordered parenting time, a parent can wonder what can be done to compel the other parent to exercise his or her parenting time.
Technically, the order for parenting time is a court-enforceable command, but the enforcement works more effectively one way: towards the end of ensuring that your time is not taken away, not to force somebody to take time that he or she does not want or cannot use. In other words, a court will not force a parent to exercise parenting time.
What is one to do if a parent will not take his or her court-ordered time? With the ultimate solution, forcing the parent to show up, for all practical purposes being unavailable, a court may offer piecemeal but potentially helpful solutions, like reducing time or requiring confirmation before time is exercised.
When a parent does not see his or her children often enough, this can result in disappointed children and an overly burdened parent, but even if solutions to the problem are imperfect, and even though there is not a one-size-fits all remedy, there are ways to address the problem.