When you and the other parent of your children go your separate ways, you will likely remain in frequent contact because you share custody of your children. You will have to divide the responsibilities of parenting, including providing parenting time for the children and financial support for them.
Unfortunately, some parents struggle to put their children first and will let resentment toward their ex dictate behavior. Your ex might cancel your parenting time or tell you that the children don’t want to see you. What can you do when you aren’t getting access to or time with your children?
Ask for makeup parenting time
Scheduling conflicts are a real issue for parents sharing custody after a separation. When circumstances change, you may need to reschedule your parenting time. However, your ex should give you an opportunity to make up missed time if they cancel visitation or your weekend with the kids because of something that happened on their end.
If your ex won’t let you reschedule or have makeup time with the children, then their actions might constitute parental alienation. Parental alienation involves one parent trying to interfere in or end the relationship of the other with their children.
Document what you experience
If you have any hope of correcting this issue in court, you need to have proof of what has occurred. Keeping detailed records of every time you arrive for visitation, only to have it canceled and statements by your children that make you think your ex has disparaged you in front of them can help you show that there is an issue that the courts need to address.
Ask for custody enforcement or a modification
If your ex won’t change their behavior and continues to deny or limit your parenting time, you can ask the family courts to enforce your custody order. You can also ask for a modification, which is a formal change to your existing custody order. If the courts see proof of parental alienation by your ex, they might reduce your ex has parenting time and give you more time with the children.
Actively protecting your right to spend time with your children can help you navigate conflict when you share custody with your ex.