What can I do if my partner doesn’t show up for parenting time?

4. Go to court

Your partner might continue to miss or visits with your child. They may do this even after you’ve tried talking to them about it or after you’ve tried to get help from a family law professional. You cannot force your partner to spend time with your child.

Think about whether you need to go to court to change your agreement or , or whether you can leave things as is.

You have to start a family court case if:

  • you don’t have a court order
  • you have a or that you want to change

If you have a final court order and need to change it, you can bring a motion to change.

Going to court can be a complicated process and it can take a lot of time. It can be stressful and expensive, but it is sometimes necessary to decide your issues. This family law court process flowchart explains each step in a family law court case.

Judges look at all the evidence and use a legal test called the to decide and parenting time. These used to be called and access.

The judge will also want to know:

  • how the parenting time plan you have is not working
  • the impact missed parenting time has on your child
  • your suggestions on what changes to parenting time would work better for your child

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says about changing your agreement or court order and how they can help you through the process.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled” or “limited scope” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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