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How to handle interference with your parenting time

Is your ex-spouse interfering with your time with the kids? Sometimes an ex will be blatant about the whole thing. He or she may just willfully deny you the rights to your court-ordered visitation and parenting time for any real or perceived offense.

Other times, an ex will find subtle ways to deprive you of your time with your child. You'll be told that your child is sick, has a sleepover that he or she really wants to attend or whatever will get you to agree to a change in plans without a fight.

There are other ways that your child's other parent can interfere with your parenting time. They may include something as drastic as moving without notifying you in advance, hiding your child at a relative's house or simply refusing to open the door when you come.

It's also unacceptable, however, when your ex finds less aggressive ways to prevent you from engaging with your child in a reasonable fashion. That includes things like intercepting your mail to your child or not allowing your child to pick up the phone when you call. You may find yourself shut out of school activities, only to be informed of the school play or concert well after it's over.

In some cases, children get used as pawns in psychological warfare between the parents. The parent who is initiating the dispute may openly denigrate you to your child and even enlist the child's help to spy on your private life or encourage the child to refuse to see you.

How do you stop this kind of activity? Unfortunately, the only way that you can put a halt to a parent who plays these kind of manipulative games is by taking the issue to court.

The first thing that you need to do is document what is happening. A paper or electronic trail of your conversations with your ex over visitation can often be very illustrative of the problems. A journal also helps.

Once you've gathered your evidence, take it into court. You can ask the judge for a number of corrective actions, depending on your situation.

Good solutions include asking the court to order non-interference with communications, compliance with the terms of your current parenting agreement and fines for poor behavior at first. If your ex continues to interfere, however, you may have to ask for custody revisions that put you in control.

Source: FindLaw, "Parenting Time Interference," accessed Feb. 21, 2018

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