Custody violations can take many forms. Your co-parent may interfere with your parenting time or rights by withholding the child, changing the schedule without your consent or bad-mouthing you to the child.
When this happens, it can be frustrating and harmful to your relationship with your child. So, how can you address such a situation effectively and protect your parental rights? Below are some practical tips and strategies.
Review your custody agreement or court order
Ensure you fully understand the terms of the custody arrangement or court order and the rights and responsibilities of each parent. It will help you point out the specific provisions your co-parent is violating.
Document and gather evidence
Keep a detailed record of all instances where custody violations occur, including dates, times and specific details of the violations. Collect any supporting evidence that can prove your claims, such as text messages, emails or witness statements.
Communicate with the other parent
Try to resolve the issue amicably and respectfully without escalating the conflict. Explain how their actions are affecting you and your child, and ask them to comply with the custody order. You can also suggest mediation or counseling to work out your differences and reach a mutually agreeable solution.
Explore your legal options
If the custody violations persist or become severe, you may seek legal intervention where a judge will review your evidence and hear both sides of the story. The judge may impose sanctions on your ex-spouse, such as fines, jail time, supervised visitation or loss of custody rights, depending on the circumstances.
It helps to have an informed evaluation of your current situation to ensure you respond appropriately. For instance, you may not want the matter to blow out of proportion, yet you want things to change. Seeking proper legal guidance can help you weigh the options and protect your parental rights and the children’s well-being.