Child custody arrangements can quickly become another source of tension and stress. If your ex is failing to follow the custody order as written, and you're unsure about how to properly handle the situation, below are three things you should do.
Know Your Rights
Even as the non-custodial parent, you still have rights. The more knowledgeable you are about them, the better you'll be able to know when they're being trampled.
A custody agreement is a legally binding court document that clearly outlines the custody arrangement between your ex and you. This agreement will include days of visitation, as well as what occurs when the child misses visitation. If rescheduling the visit is possible, do not be afraid to enforce that right. The most important thing to remember is that withholding child support is not a right of yours – if your ex is not following the visitation schedule, that is a completely separate issue from child support payments.
Try to Come Up With a Solution
It can be difficult to enforce the child custody agreement without a court order, but it isn't always impossible to do so.
If your ex isn't particularly concerned with consistently following the custody order, you may want to consider taking a harder line on missed visitations and rescheduling. For the sake of harmony, it can be easy to let your ex get away with a few missed visitations, but it's important to let your ex know that you intend to follow the custody arrangement to the letter and will go to court unless done so. It's vital that you show interest in meeting all visits and rescheduling those that are missed.
Consult With Your Attorney
Unfortunately, not all parents are concerned with following the custody order, and you may be required to follow through on your threat to bring your ex to court.
If your ex has failed to take you seriously, it's time to consult with your family law attorney. With their help, you can file a petition for enforcement of the custody order. If your ex consistently fails to follow the order, the court may even consider changing the custody arrangement, as the best interests of your child are not being honored when your visitation is withheld. Your attorney will best be able to walk you through the process and provide you with the advice you need.
While enforcement of the child custody arrangement can be difficult, it isn't impossible. By knowing your rights, attempting to come to a solution with your ex, and consulting with your attorney when your rights are being trampled, you can ensure the child custody arrangement you and your ex have is followed which is best for all involved.
For more information, contact Watson Law Firm or a similar organization.