Interfering with father’s parental relationships lands mother in contempt

divorce pixa smallAll too often after a divorce, parents who have contempt for each other end up dragging their children into their battles with their ex-spouse. Some use the children as pawns and deliberately turn them against the other parent.

Even if they have a parenting plan in place that doesn’t always mean they will follow it. However, failure to follow a court order not only can result in additional attorney fees, but also can get you in serious trouble with the court in the form of a contempt judgment.

Ford v. Ford (No. 4D13-1369), a recent appellate court ruling, underscores the challenges that family courts face when dealing with parental interference of a child’s timesharing with the other parent.

At the time of their divorce in 2011, the Fords had three children. Their parental agreement set up a timesharing schedule in which the mother was the primary caretaker.

However, several months after the order was agreed upon, the father went back to court to ask that his ex-wife be held in contempt. He alleged that she was frustrating his ability to have a good relationship with his children by discussing details of the divorce; making derogatory statements about him to the kids; refusing to stop them from disrespecting their father; and interfering with his visitation by failing to bring the children to his house, or by allowing them to “opt out” of visitation.

Read more: Interfering with father’s parental relationships lands mother in contempt

Ordered to pay alimony? Know your options

Little man in hands with moneyNo one wants to talk about alimony, and no one wants to pay it either, especially for a long period of time. But alimony is part of a divorce when there is a disparity of income and it’s a reality in those cases.

However, there are ways to come up with an alimony amount you can live with.

I recently wrote an article for Expert Beacon outlining the do's and don'ts of how you can work with your ex-spouse to come up with an agreement that both of you can live with, without breaking the bank. Click here to read it.

How permanent alimony can break the bank

man in financial despair pixaThose who favor alimony reform have long suggested that no one should be forced to pay alimony for the rest of their lives, regardless of how long they were married or their financial situation.

It’s not unusual for those who must pay permanent alimony to one-day find themselves in dire financial straits when circumstances in their lives change, sometimes to the point of having to file for bankruptcy.

The existing system only serves to reinforce the belief that alimony is forever. What it fails to take into consideration are cases like the one that recently came before the Fourth District Court of Appeal in which both the ex-husband and ex-wife found themselves without enough money to meet even their barest needs. These cases are sadly quite common.

In Albu v. Albu (4D13-3558) the former husband appealed a lower court order that reduced his alimony instead of terminating it because he no longer had the ability to pay.

During the couple’s long-term marriage (which ended in 2007) the wife never worked outside the home. As part of the divorce, the husband agreed to pay his ex-wife $2,000 a month until she either remarried or died. He also agreed to pay another $80 a month in prescription drug costs. At the time, the husband was making around $120,000 a year, so making the payments wasn’t considered a financial hardship: Until circumstances changed.

Read more: How permanent alimony can break the bank

Divorced? Here are some ways to survive the holidays

Holiday divorceDivorce is tough enough, add in the holidays and it’s often a prescription for stress and sometimes disaster. But there are some things you and your ex-spouse can do to make the holidays easier on yourselves, your children and other family members.

If there are children involved, then you likely have an agreement in place that determines which parent gets the children on which holidays, and that’s great. But sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t work every time.

If you think there will be a need to make any adjustments in that schedule, discuss it with your spouse ahead of time so you don’t spring any changes on them at the last minute. For example, if you really want to take the kids out of town for the holiday, but your spouse is supposed to see them on Christmas morning, discuss ways you might work it out so everyone is happy.

Before making any decisions, sit down and discuss your plans with your children. They might prefer to do something different. Maybe they don’t want to be away from their other parent, extended family or even friends.

Read more: Divorced? Here are some ways to survive the holidays

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