One of the more effective ways to create a positive co-parent relationship is to have a comprehensive parenting plan. After all, your parenting plan outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities. Therefore, during your divorce, you should devote a significant amount of time and effort to negotiating the agreement.
Once your parenting plan is in place, it is important to respect its terms. Not only is carefully following the plan good for your son or daughter, but it also helps you avoid conflict with your ex-spouse. If your former partner interferes with your parenting time, though, you may need to take legal action.
Custodial interference occurs when someone interferes with your custody rights. This type of behavior may range from minor to serious. Here are some ways an ex-spouse may engage in custodial interference:
- Excessively calling or texting your child during your parenting time
- Telling your child to avoid interacting with you
- Refusing to return your child to you at the end of a visit
If you have evidence of custodial interference, you may be able to seek a modification of your custody order. Your former spouse may also be in contempt of court for violating your parenting plan. Furthermore, if a co-parent’s behaviors are particularly bad, he or she may be committing a crime.
To better protect your parental rights, you should consider documenting incidents of custodial interference in a custody journal. You should also watch for signs of parental alienation. This occurs when one parent tries to sabotage the other’s parent-child relationship. If your ex-spouse encourages your child to fear, distrust or hate you, parental alienation may be to blame.
When you divorced your spouse, you may have thought conflict was behind you. Nonetheless, if your former partner does not comply with your parenting plan, you likely have some work to do. By watching for custodial interference, you can better assert your legal rights.