Turner & O’Connell, Attorneys At Law

Serving Pennsylvania since 1984

Know your rights if your ex won’t let you see the children

When former spouses can’t control their emotions during a divorce, it is often their children that pay the price. One spouse may decide to use the children as a weapon or bargaining chip and try to withhold access to their ex.

Even in situations where the courts have issued a temporary or final custody order, one spouse might still try to prevent the other from spending time with the children. There are multiple ways that one parent can interfere with the parenting time of the other.

Sometimes, one parent will create scheduling conflicts

Have you noticed that all of your children’s medical appointments or tutoring sessions seem to fall during your parenting time? Sometimes one parent will intentionally eat into the parenting time of their ex by overlapping appointments with scheduled visitation or custody time.

When a scheduling conflict occurs, particularly if you do not have a say in it and it is not an emergency, your ex should work with you to allow you to make up the missed parenting time. If they do not, the reduction of your time with the children could be an intentional act.

Some parents convince the kids they don’t want to leave

One parent can try to manipulate the children into refusing to go with the other. Examples of this kind of manipulation could include talking poorly about the other parent to change the children’s attitude about that person or bribing the children by offering them rewards or special treatment if they stay and don’t go for visitation with the other parent.

In some cases, one parent overtly denies the other access to the kids

Some people aren’t subtle at all in their attempt to cut their ex out of the lives of the children they share. If your ex has begun refusing to let you call the house or take your children, they likely know that their actions violate the custody order and could do harm to your children.

Regardless of how overt or subtle your ex has been in their attempts to cut you off from the children, it’s important to remember that you have rights. Keep a record of each time you don’t get parenting time or your ex cut it short. You can use that information to ask the court to enforce your child custody or visitation order, a process that could include charging your ex with contempt if they don’t change their behavior.