Court-ordered child custody orders are issued based on the children’s best interests and are enforceable. Therefore, if your co-parent constantly violates the existing custody orders, it is necessary to take appropriate action to protect your parental rights and the children’s wellbeing.
Your co-parent may be preventing you from accessing the children, interfering with your visitation schedules or making crucial decisions affecting the child without consulting you, yet you share legal custody. Here is what you should do.
Understand the custody order
Before taking any action, it is prudent to understand the custody order fully. Read it carefully and ensure you are conversant with what the order entails, including the visitation schedules and the responsibilities of both parents. Doing so will help you know the specific provisions you need to enforce.
Keep accurate records
Keep a detailed record of any violation of the custody order. Write down the dates and times when the other parent failed to comply with the order and preserve any correspondence, such as emails, text messages or phone calls, pertaining to the custody agreement.
Attempt to resolve the issue amicably
Try having a conversation with your co-parent and raise your concerns. Resolving the matter in-house is the best way out of such situations since you can work out an amicable solution without involving third parties.
Explore your legal options
If the issue persists and a viable solution is not in the offing, it may be time to escalate the matter to court. Typically, it entails filing an enforcement petition. Here, a judge may implement a raft of enforcement measures, including holding your co-parent in contempt or modifying the current orders.
Remember, the end goal is finding a lasting solution to the problem, not punishing your co-parent or keeping the children away from them.