When a couple with a child splits up or divorces it can be difficult for them to settle on custody arrangements. The courts may need to make the ultimate decision about the division of parenting time. Once you have a custody order in place, you should be able to depend on getting to see your children during your scheduled parenting time.
Sadly, many loving parents find themselves cut off from their kids by a vindictive ex. It might start small, with your weeknight visitation canceled because your child has an appointment scheduled at the same time when you should get to see them. Unfortunately, then it becomes that they are too sick to see you for the weekend or that they have social plans that your ex claims somehow supersedes your right to spend time with the children.
What can you do when your ex maliciously interferes in your relationship with your kids?
Keep a record of the issues you experience
In order to advocate for your right to your court-ordered parenting time, you may need to convince the courts that your ex has unfairly denied you access to the children. Every time your ex refuses to let you see the kids or intentionally diminishes your parenting time without an attempt to let you make it up, you should make a written note about what occurred.
The time, the date and the excuse used are all important. Saving emails or text messages talking about keeping you from the kids or handing out paltry excuses for yet another cancellation can also serve as important documentation. Eventually, that pattern of behavior will clearly emerge no matter how creative the excuses are, which will make it easier for you to ask the courts for enforcement or even a modification.
What will the Massachusetts family courts do?
There are two approaches to handling denied parenting time. The first and most straightforward is simply asking for enforcement of the order. The courts can find your ex in contempt of court because of their refusal to comply with a court order giving you visitation or parenting time.
On the other hand, asking for a modification of your custody order could also be a solution. The courts might give you more parenting time or more legal authority to play a role in decision-making so that your ex can’t continue to steamroll you on custody matters.
Knowing that the courts can help will make handling an issue with your shared custody arrangement a little easier.