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What to do if your co-parent is denying you parenting time

You and your former spouse likely spent a lot of time and energy developing your parenting plan when you divorced. Maybe you were able to work it out yourselves, with the help of your attorneys. Perhaps a judge had to step in. Either way, one of the key elements of the plan is how much parenting time each one of you gets and when.

Now your co-parent is violating the terms of your parenting time. Maybe they're small violations -- like always being 30 minutes late bringing your child to your home. Perhaps they're larger ones -- like always having a reason why your child can't come to your home on the days when they're scheduled.

It can take some time for everyone to get used to moving their children between two homes, and honest mistakes and glitches can occur. However, if you believe your co-parent is intentionally violating the terms of your parenting plan, it's important to know what remedies you have to enforce the time that you and your child are entitled to have together.

The first step is to begin documenting these violations. While it's still fresh in your mind, document details like:

  • The date and time parenting time was denied
  • What it was supposed to be and what it actually was
  • The reason your co-parent gave you for the parenting time denial
  • If there were other factors that contributed to it

Even small incidents, if there are enough of them, can add up to a significant amount of parenting time denial and disruption that isn't good for your child.

If you've been unable to resolve the problem by talking to or otherwise communicating with your co-parent, talk with your attorney. They may be able to recommend some remedies that don't require getting the court involved. They can also tell you what factors the court will likely look for in determining whether to act. It's crucial not to let too much time lapse before addressing the problem.

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