The end of a romantic relationship is never quite the end of your relationship with your child. Whether you and your ex are caught up in a bitter divorce battle or were never married at all, your child deserves your love and care at all times.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some parents to use children as pawns to hurt their exes during and after the divorce. If you find yourself in a situation where your ex is interfering with your parenting rights, you need to act.
You are entitled to a reasonable visitation
If you are the non-custodial parent, the court will most likely award you reasonable visitation. The court might require you and your ex to come up with a visitation schedule that works for everyone – you, your ex and the kids. Once you agree on a visitation plan, you need to deposit the agreement with the court for adoption. This becomes a binding custody and visitation order. So what do you do if your ex won’t comply with the visitation order?
Start keeping a journal
The first thing you need to do to show that your ex is interfering with visitation is to have it documented. Remember, if it isn’t documented, it probably never happened. Be sure to keep a record of every missed visitation, including dates and the reason your ex gave, if at all they did. And if they hung up on the phone while trying to discuss the matter, be sure to document this too.
Ask the court to enforce your visitation rights
Sometimes, your ex’s motives might not be sinister after all. For instance, the visitation hours might be conflicting with your ex’s work schedule. In this case, you and your ex may consider negotiating a new schedule.
However, if your ex is adamant about letting you see your child, you need to seek the court’s intervention. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court may order make-up time for missed visitation and reprimand your ex for their behavior. And if the court deems your ex’s behavior detrimental to the child, then it might as strip them of the primary custody.