Your custody order or parenting plan plays a major role in your relationship with your children following your divorce. The way that you split parental responsibilities dictates when you need to be present for your children and what you have to provide for them.
You may expect to assert your rights as outlined in your parenting plan, but your ex may have other plans. Although the law requires that they abide by your custody order, they might attempt to undermine your parenting arrangements and interfere in your relationship with your children.
For example, your ex might cancel your parenting time, blaming a doctor’s appointment or an athletic competition. What options do you have when your ex reduces your time with the children?
You have the right to make-up parenting time
The circumstances of your cancellation determine what rights you have. If you cancel, then your ex can choose whether or not to cooperate with you regarding rescheduling that parenting session. However, if your ex is the one to cancel your time with the children or shorten your parenting session, then they should give you an opportunity to make up that lost parenting time.
If your ex frequently cancels or changes your parenting time and does not give you an opportunity to make up that time with the children, you may need to go to court. You can ask the courts to enforce your existing order or to grant a modification.
If your ex has canceled your visits or otherwise interfered with your parenting schedule, a California family law judge could intervene on your behalf. Going back to court for an enforcement could lead to an order for makeup parenting time. Your ex may be more willing to cooperate with you and they realize that they could face consequences for continuing to interfere in your relationship with the children.
If you have already attempted enforcement previously or there is a consistent pattern of interference, then you may be able to ask for a custody modification. A judge may give you more parenting time or decision-making authority when your ex has shown that they will not act in the best interests of your children.
Understanding your options in a shared custody scenario can help you minimize the challenges your family has to overcome.