Shared custody or co-parenting is typically the preferred outcome for parents with minor children going through a divorce. Given that the Arizona family courts focus on the best interests of the children, protecting both parents’ relationships is a priority except in situations involving abuse, neglect or addiction.
Unfortunately, even if there is a custody order in place, your ex may still do everything in their power to limit your time with the children. What can you do when your ex intentionally and repeatedly violates the custody order after your divorce?
Some people will say just about anything to get their way during a divorce, including lying about their ex and their parenting ability. False claims of denied visitation or attempted parental alienation could unfairly impact one parent’s rights, which is why documentation is so crucial for those with custody issues.
Keeping a written record of every time your ex refuses to give you parenting time, cuts your visitation short or claims the kids don’t want to see you will help you show a pattern of behavior when you go back to the courts. So too can text messages or emails talking about the custody issues.
What actions will the Arizona family courts take?
If you can show an obvious and intentional pattern of denied visitation, the courts will likely step in to protect your relationship with your kids. They may order makeup parenting time that gives you a chance to spend more quality time with your kids.
They might also order family counseling, mediation between parents or parent education. The parent violating the order is one required to pay for these services. The courts could also find your ex in contempt of court and fine you ex for up to $100 per violation.
Custody enforcement usually won’t happen unless you step up and ask for it, so the sooner you take action about your denied parenting time, the sooner you can start spending quality time with your kids again.