What do I do if my ex won't let me see my kid(s)?

August 1, 2019 | 2 minute read
Posted by Matthew Zentz on August 1, 2019

Starting over after a new relationship can be a challenge. That challenge can be even bigger if your new start includes dealing with your ex who is also a parent of your child. The nature of your relationship (whether you were married or not) will be one thing that informs your new life and how your interaction with your kids and your ex is governed.

If you were married...

If you were married, your divorce decree will certainly discuss custody, parenting time, child support and related issues. This order is enforceable with the court.

If you were not married...

If you were never married to your ex and have never been to court, paternity will need to be established. When paternity is established, a court will issue an order on custody, parenting time, child support and related issues. Until there is an order on parenting time, you are going to have no way to force your ex to allow parenting time to occur.

In either case...

Unfortunately, sometimes exes will fight and one tactic used too often is one parent withholding court ordered parenting time from the other parent.

When this happens the wrong way to deal with them is to attempt to fight directly with them. Sometimes, when people don't know what to do they may fall back on attempting to take action they think will force their exes hand such as withholding child support, calling DCS on the opposing party, or filing a restraining order for disingenuous. While these may seem like ways to pressure an ex to get what you want, it actually opens you up to a legal problem.

Protective orders are very serious and should only be filed when a party is in legitimate fear of their ex. Child support is for a specific purposes and withholding it will not advance your position with respect to seeing your child(ren). The Department of Child Services (DCS) takes seriously allegations made against parents. You should only call DCS if there is a legitimate fear for the safety of a child.

What to do instead...

The appropriate way to enforce your parenting time after you have secured an order is to think about asking a court to hold your ex in contempt. First, you should continue to request to have your court ordered parenting time. Even if you think your ex will deny you, it is important for you to make that effort and document your attempts.

After it is clear that your requests are being ignored you should pursue a finding of contempt. If your ex is not following a court order with regard to parenting time, call Homan & Zentz, P.C. so we can help you get back on track.

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