The most painful part of the aftermath of a divorce is the effect that shared parenting time has on the divorced couple’s children. Children need a solid and stable relationship with both of their parents in order to thrive and overcome the trauma of the divorce. Thus, it can be devastating when one parent decides to make it more difficult for the other to spend the time that they are entitled to with the children. If this is currently happening to you, what are your options?
A violation of your rights
Arizona divorce courts take interference with parental time very seriously. This is because a parent-child relationship is the right of the children in addition to the right of the parents, and interference with this relationship is a violation of both of their rights.
Often, parents commit relatively violations of these rights by dropping off the kids to the other parent’s house later than agreed upon, or by scheduling vacation time with the kids on weekends when the other parent is supposed to have them. Occasionally, however, violations are much more severe.
If your ex-spouse repeatedly engages in behavior designed to deprive you of access to your children for an extended period of time, they could be guilty of custodial interference, which is a felony in Arizona.
What you can do about it
When the judge signed your divorce decree, they established a court-ordered parental plan that you are both expected to abide by. Thus, if your ex-spouse is violating this court order repeatedly and purposefully, the first thing you should do is inform the divorce court and ask for them to intervene.
The court that handled your divorce has the ability to compel your ex-spouse to comply with the order. If your ex’s actions were severe enough, the court may even revise your custodial arrangement or visitation schedule.
Unless abuse is involved, there is no excuse for depriving a child of a meaningful relationship with both parents after a divorce. Fortunately, if this happens to you, the divorce court will be on your side, and will assist you in rectifying the situation.