When a parent files for divorce, the courts will usually issue a temporary custody order that gives each parent the right to spend time with the kids. When the parents reach a settlement with each other or a judge issues final orders in the divorce, they will be more permanent rules for shared parental rights and responsibilities.
The sad truth is that not all parents will comply with the rules and schedules in the parenting plan. What can you do if your ex won’t let you see your kids or cancels your visitation without letting you make up that lost time?
Keep a record of everything
You can’t go to the courts and ask for a custody order enforcement if you don’t have evidence. It would just be your word against your ex’s. Every time that your ex cuts your visitation short, doesn’t arrive at the custody exchange location or cancels your parenting time without allowing you to reschedule, you should make a notation of the date, time and other details.
The same is true of any written communications from your co-parent like text messages saying that you won’t get to see the children. Once you have several incidents on record, you may be in a position to ask the court for enforcement of your custody order.
Request make-up parenting time or a modification
The custody order should uphold the best interests of the children, including helping them protect both of their parental relationships. When your ex puts their petty grievances above what is best for the children, that could motivate the courts to take enforcement action.
They might order mandatory make-up parenting time for you. In particularly egregious scenarios where one parent has attempted to damage the relationship of the other with the children, the courts might even modify the custody order and give the parent denied access more parenting time.
Understanding that you don’t have to accept the denial of your parenting time can help you stand up for your parental rights.