The Dos and Don’ts of Child Visitation Violations
One of the most challenging aspects of divorce can be settling the details of co-parenting with your ex-spouse. Divorce usually has a serious impact on children when their parents cannot get along or manage visitation rights, and understanding how to proceed when those rights are violated might mean all the difference when it comes to your children’s emotional well-being.
Do Get a Lawyer
Having legal counsel during your divorce can be helpful, especially when there are visitation rules to manage. When you first discuss them in court or arbitration, having a lawyer present may help you feel more confident and give you a better understanding of who to turn to if your ex should break any rules that have been laid out by the court. If any rights are violated after the divorce is final, you can contact your lawyer for advice about how to get your ex-partner to obey the visitation decree.
Do Not Withhold Visitation
When your ex brings the kids back hours after the appointed drop-off time or is late picking them up, your first instinct may be to withhold visitation from him or her in retaliation. However, this tactic usually does more harm than good, especially for your children, who may not understand why they are suddenly being cut off from their other parent. Instead, speak to your ex and offer a gentle reminder about the rules he or she agreed to and if that fails, return to the court and ask the judge to alter the decree if it is not obeyed.
Do Motion for Contempt of Court
If the details and regulations of visitation are laid out in your final divorce decree and your ex-spouse breaks them, you do have the option to file a motion for contempt of court. You can ask your attorney to file this motion after you explain your situation. For example, if visitation details decree that your ex cannot take your kids across state lines and he takes them out of town to visit family without your knowledge, this could allow you to file the motion.
Do Not Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Dealing with a non-compliant ex can be frustrating, especially where your kids are involved. However, it may not be wise to try and handle the situation by demonizing your ex-partner in front of your kids or changing the visitation rules on your own, Going through legal channels can be much more effective and allow you to act maturely and calmly, even if your ex is not.
Handling a child visitation schedule can be difficult, especially when you feel your ex-spouse is violating the decree terms, but knowing how to proceed can help you stay calm and focused on your children’s needs.