Is Your Ex Interfering with Visitation?
Sometimes, marital conflict does not end with divorce. Instead, couples continue to squabble
long after the judge signs the divorce decree, and children are unfortunately caught in the middle.
At Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips LLP, we receive many phone calls from mothers and fathers
who complain that their ex is interfering with their child custody rights. The excuses they receive
from their exes run the gamut from surprise illnesses or doctor appointments to the child not
wanting to visit.
If you believe your ex is interfering with your visitation with your children, remember to take the
following steps. A judge can intervene, but you need to gather sufficient evidence first.
Document the Excuses
Ideally, you and your ex communicate by email, so there is a paper trail. If not, you can write
down the substance of any conversation, in particular the reason given for why visitation is
For example, your ex-wife might claim that your child has a doctor’s appointment. It will be easy
enough to check whether that is, in fact, true, but you want to document the reason. Your ex
could suddenly deny the conversation or change the reason given for why she will not take your
child to the drop-off location.
Keep Close Track of Denied Visitation
You definitely want a detailed list of all days in which visitation has been denied. Do not rely on
your memory, but mark the dates on a calendar. A judge will want to know exactly when you
have had visitation and when it had fallen through.
You will undercut your claim if you are unavailable for visitation. Do not send an email back
saying it is okay your child is not visiting because you need to do more work. That makes it look
like you could not care less whether you see your child or not.
Do not call up your child and involve him or her in the argument. Your ex might claim your
child does not want to see you, but it could be a lie.
Instead, you should probably go to the drop-off location and wait there. Buy a cup of coffee so
you have a receipt that showed you were in the location at the right day and time. Return home
only after your ex misses the designated time for handing over your child.
Speak to a Wilmington Child Custody Lawyer
Courts take interference seriously and have a range of options for compelling a parent to follow a
custody arrangement. For example, the judge might:
● Find the other parent in contempt, resulting in fines or jail time
● Order the other parent to undergo counseling
● Award additional visitation to make up for the visits lost
● Modify the visitation schedule permanently
● Change custody (in extreme situations)
To understand your best options, meet with us today. One of our lawyers can review the situation
and counsel you on how best to respond. Often, you will need to file a motion with the court to
make them aware of the missed visitation and to ask for relief.
Contact us today, 910-772-1678.