Divorce can impact many areas of your life, but one of the most difficult might be how you and your ex-spouse move forward with co-parenting. Maintaining stability for your children so they continue to have both parents present in their lives can be challenging, especially if your ex starts to create problems by violating a visitation order. If you are currently facing this situation, there are a few ways you can resolve the issue and avoid taking matters into your own hands.
- Ensure Your Visitation Contract Is Valid
Before you can refer your ex-spouse to the rules laid out in your visitation contract, it is important that you understand whether or not it is valid. A document that has not been reviewed or approved by a judge or other court official may not be legal and is therefore not binding. If your visitation contract has not been signed by a judge, contact your local city hall for instructions on how to get it approved and validated.
- Make the Rules Clear
Sometimes child visitation rights are violated because the rules are not clear to the non-custodial parent. For example, if your ex has your children on Saturdays and Sundays and you change the time when they are due to return from week to week, this may be confusing. To reduce the risk of visitation violations, set specific drop off and pick up times within your contract and review them with your ex so there are no misunderstandings.
- Contact the Police
If your ex-spouse continually violates the rules of your child visitation contract, you may want to contact the authorities, especially if he or she keeps the children well past the drop-off time. Ask the police if you need to file a report and whether your ex will be contacted regarding these violations. The authorities may become involved at a federal level if your ex-spouse takes your children across state lines without permission.
- Speak with Your Lawyer
A child custody lawyer, may be able to help you with drafting a visitation contract or explaining the particulars of one created by the court. He or she can also assist with bringing charges against your ex if the visitation agreement is continuously and purposely violated. Working with your attorney can give you peace of mind during a time when you are attempting to protect your children’s best interests.
Setting the rules for child visitation after a divorce can be a complex issue, even if you and your ex-spouse are on good terms. Contact an attorney for more information or to arrange a consultation.