The most difficult part of most divorces is navigating child custody, visitation or access arrangements. Whether the other parent has custody, or you share joint custody, it can be heart-breaking and infuriating when the other parent tries to prevent access to your children. What can you do about this?
Court-ordered custodial arrangements
When there are minor children involved, part of the divorce process and family court proceedings is to establish a custody, visitation or access schedule.
This schedule not only exists to protect the parents’ right to see their children, but also protects the children’s right to have a consistent relationship with each parent. Courts take interference with parenting time seriously, because it is a violation of both the parent’s right and the children’s right.
The consequences of parenting time interference
Every situation is unique, and every court has a different method of handling child visitation issues. The first time you bring parenting time interference issues before the court, the judge may order the parent in violation to comply with the terms of the parenting plan in your custody agreement and give you makeup time for the missed access. Sometimes, they may even fine them for defying the order.
In cases of particularly egregious interference, or after a pattern of consistent interference, the judge may decide to modify the custody arrangement. They could remove custody from the other parent and give you sole custody or primary residential custody, if they decide that it would be in the interest of the children to do so.
It is essential for a child’s well-being to have a solid relationship with both parents when possible. If the other parent is preventing you from seeing your children, you have legal recourses that you can use to remedy the situation, for your sake and for the sake of your children so that everyone can live happily ever after.