Your ex may try to deny you parent time with your children for myriad reasons. Perhaps you are behind on child support payments, or your ex is annoyed that you have a new significant other. But whatever the reason, your time and relationship with your children is worth fighting for.
If your ex is withholding your child(ren) from their visitation with you, there are several courses of action you may consider. Here are the pros and cons to factor in for each course of action:
- Asking your ex for makeup time to compensate for the missed visitation. This allows your ex the opportunity to not let a situation blow into a huge ordeal and is a good plan if this is a first offense for your ex. If denying visitation becomes a pattern, it’s not fair to you or your children, and you may want to take more drastic action.
- Trying to have a civilized conversation with your ex to find out what issues are causing them to want to deny you visitation is another great early course of action. If they are willing to meet with you and discuss their reasoning for why they are denying visitation, try to address any reasonable and legitimate concerns (for example, making sure each child has a bed and safe environment to live in while staying with you).
- Documenting each time your ex withholds your visitation via your journal https://coillaw.com/2018/03/07/4-tips-keeping-journal-divorce/ is never a bad idea and will come in handy to make your case in court if you have to take further action.
- Having your attorney file a Motion against your ex for not following the court-ordered visitation agreement. Your attorney can file a Motion for Contempt (Order to Show Cause) or a Petition to Modify your current parent-time Order. This is the best course of action if your ex is repeatedly denying you visitation. This way, your concerns are officially documented; and the court may award you more parent-time, change custody, or sanction your spouse for their actions.
- Calling the police when your ex refuses you your visitation. The police will most likely not be able to do anything, since they often refrain from interfering in domestic disputes. On the other hand, they will be able to file a police report, which can be used as evidence to show your ex’s lack of cooperation. But realize that this may be traumatic for the children, so definitely weigh that into your decision before you call the cops. Further, some cities will charge the interfering parent with Custodial Interference (which is a criminal offense).
- Refusing to pay your child support as a punishment to your ex for withholding visitation is the worst possible thing you could do. Courts consider matters of visitation completely separate from matters of child support. Not paying child support just hurts the children, not your ex. Further, you could get in big trouble from the court, including having your license revoked, wage garnishment, and even jail time for failing to pay your support.
Getting Help with Your Utah Divorce Case
If your spouse is denying you your parent time and you need legal help, we’re here for you. You need to ensure you consult with a competent family law attorney that understands the legalities of parent time and visitation during a divorce and will help put your mind at ease so you don’t get taken advantage of. At CoilLaw, LLC, Salt Lake City Divorce attorney Jill Coil knows how to advise you during a divorce to help you achieve the best settlement and/or result possible. At CoilLaw we are ready and available to help you through your legal action. If you need legal advice concerning a Utah family law issue, call Jill Coil at CoilLaw LLC in Utah at (801) 939-6027 today.