As a divorced or separated father, nothing can be more precious than the time you spend with your child. After all, this is your legal right unless ruled otherwise by the court.
However, it is not uncommon for some exes to interfere with an existing custody and visitation arrangement. If this happens, it is important that you take appropriate legal steps to protect your court-granted visitation rights.
What amounts to a custody violation?
Generally, any action that goes against a court-sanctioned custody order is a violation. Of course, there are rare occasions when the custodial parent may not be around to avail the child to the other parent. When this happens, both parties should always make prior arrangements to take care of the emergency. However, if the custodial parent deliberately makes known their intention to prevent you from seeing your child, then you should consider taking action.
Here are two things you should consider if the custodial parent is interfering with your visitation rights:
Document the violation
Once it is apparent that the custodial parent is willfully preventing you from seeing your child, it is important that you start keeping a journal of their behavior. In your journal, be sure to include the specific dates you missed the visitation, whether you raised your concern with your ex over the missed visitation and the explanation they gave.
Seek the court’s intervention
As already indicated, violating a custody order is an offense. Your ex may be held in contempt of court if they are found to have willfully withheld visitation. Besides the penalties associated with this, they may also lose custody of the child to you.
Co-parenting after a divorce or separation is not always a walk in the park. It becomes even more difficult if one party is refusing to comply with an existing custody order. Find out how you can safeguard your parental rights if your ex is interfering with your visitation.