Couples with children may break up or divorce. At the end of their relationship, they will need to create a parenting plan or custody order that divides their responsibilities to the children. Your parenting plan may give you a specific percentage of time with them or even a schedule of when you get to see your kids.
You should be able to depend on your ex following that parenting plan, as the custody order carries the full weight of the California family courts. Unfortunately, even with a custody order giving you access to and time with the children, your ex may still try to limit your parenting time.
They might cancel your visits or even turn you away from their doorstep when you arrive to take the kids for the weekend. What are your rights when your ex will not abide by the custody rules from your parenting plan?
You can go to court for enforcement
The courts do not approve of parents who intentionally interfere in their ex’s relationship with the children or who violate custody orders out of spite. When your ex has failed to permit your parenting time or has routinely shortened your parenting sessions, they should give you an opportunity to have makeup time.
If they do not, then you can potentially ask the courts for enforcement. A judge could order your ex to start following the established schedule. In some cases, a judge may also assist you in your attempt to schedule make-up parenting time. In extreme cases, the courts may even pursue contempt of court proceedings against a parent who repeatedly violates a custody order and attempt to enforce that order.
You can ask for a modification
When your ex makes it clear that they will not cooperate with your shared custody arrangements, then you may need to change your custody order. The courts may give you more time with the children or more legal decision-making authority when your ex has shown that they don’t respect the custody order and have no intention of upholding your rights.
When one parent won’t put the children first, the courts may agree to change the parenting plan to preserve the access of the other parent, as that is usually in the best interests of the children in the family. A good starting point for those who want to take action about denied parenting time is the careful documentation of each canceled and shortened visit will help you negotiate with your ex or prove your case in court.
Learning more about California’s shared custody laws will help you handle a disagreeable act if you must co-parent with them.