What happens when your ex-spouse refuses to let you see your children, thereby going against your court-ordered custody and visitation schedule? Although most parents understand that it’s important to co-parent cordially, divorce can breed a lot of resentment. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our ex-spouses refuse to abide by the terms of the court order. It’s not unusual for one parent to demand more support money in exchange for seeing the children, but that is not looked upon favorably by the court. If you’re having these issues, hire a custody attorney as soon as possible.
Custody and visitation
When your divorce was finalized, the court likely included a custody and visitation order with the final settlement. If one of you has primary physical and legal custody, the other parent may have been granted visitation. Usually, the noncustodial parent also pays some form of child support.
What your ex thinks of the child support amount (and whether you have been paying it) is moot. You have the right to reasonable visitation as granted by the court. If the other parent is withholding the children, they are in direct violation of a court order. This can come with stiff penalties, including jail time.
What to do if your child’s other parent refuses visitation
If your ex-spouse is refusing to let you see your children unless you pay more money, then you need to call a custody attorney right away. First, your ex is withholding the children in violation of a court order. Second, if the child support amount is insufficient, your ex-partner should seek modification in court—you’ll want an attorney to help you navigate that situation.
There are a few things your attorney and the courts can do. If the issues stem from confusing language in the court order, your custody attorney can ask the court to clarify the terms of the arrangement. That may clear up any misunderstandings.
If the issue is an outdated visitation schedule, you can seek modification in court. The court will review the petition and change the schedule to better accommodate each parent—but ultimately, the best interests of the child will come first.
Finally, if your ex is still refusing to allow you to see the children, your attorney can request that the court enforce visitation. This is the nuclear option, so it’s usually advisable to try to work it out, outside of court, before requesting enforcement. Your ex may be required to pay your legal fees and make up the visitation time. In particularly serious cases, they could see jail time.
While many visitation issues can be worked out between reasonable co-parents, if your ex refuses to let you see the children, it’s time to get a lawyer involved. Your custody attorney can help ensure that you get to see your kids—without the threat of increased child support hanging over your head.
If you’re struggling with custody issues, get in touch with the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Categorized in: Child Custody