4. Go to court
If your partner constantly misses access visits with your child, and you have tried talking to them about it, with or without the help of 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 court order, 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 parenting plan or separation agreement 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.
A judge looks at the best interests of the child test to make decisions about your child. The judge will also want to know:
- how the access plan you have is not working
- the impact missed access visits have on your child
- your suggestions on what changes to access 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.