You have gone through a tough divorce. The court has made a ruling on child support and custody arrangements. And you are okay with it. But there is a problem: Your ex will not let you see your child.
Not many things are frustrating like losing custody of your child. However, if the court has awarded primary custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other, it is important that both parties obey this order. Failing to honor an existing custody arrangement without a court order is an offense that can land the perpetrator in trouble with the law.
Here are important do’s and don’ts if your ex is preventing you from seeing your child.
- Talk to your ex about your concerns
It is important that you let your ex know your dissatisfaction with their decision to withhold visitation. It could be that weekly visitation days or hours are conflicting with their work schedule or other programs. In this case, you may want to discuss the possibility of setting a new visitation day that works for both parties.
- Document everything
It is important that you keep a journal of every missed visitation. In your journal, be sure to indicate the exact date the missed visitation happened and the reasons (if any) your ex gave. This way, should the matter end in court, you will have credible evidence to litigate your case.
- Take the matter to court
If nothing substantial is coming out of your effort to address the matter, then you may file a contempt order against them in the family court. To have your way, you will need to provide evidence of withheld visitation.
- Do not stop child support
It is not uncommon for some parents to retaliate by withholding child support payments. This is a costly mistake that can hurt you down the road. Besides, missed child support payments will only compound your financial problems if the court directs your employer to garnish your paycheck for purposes of settling your child support arrears.
Child custody and visitation orders are binding. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests if your spouse is denying you the right to see your child.