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Can your ex cancel your parenting time when you share custody?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2022 | Child Custody |

Many separated or divorced parents in New York find sharing custody to be a major challenge. It can be difficult to constantly interact with your ex and to reduce how much time you spend with your children.

Most couples eventually adjust to the new dynamic created when they end their romantic involvement with one another, but some will continue to struggle indefinitely. If your ex has a contentious attitude about your parenting obligations or the end of your relationship, they might try to interfere with your relationship with the children.

Can your ex cancel your parenting time or shorten your visitation when you have a custody order in New York?

Both parents should try to uphold the custody order

Although sometimes last-minute changes are necessary when busy parents share custody, proper communication can prevent most conflicts related to sharing parenting time. If both parents accept that they need to share certain obligations and parenting time with one another, they will be less inclined to interfere in one another’s relationship.

If your ex cannot put aside their personal feelings and keep the focus on the kids, they may try to punish you by diminishing your access to the kids or harming your relationship with them. Such behavior may constitute parental alienation.

You don’t have to accept parental alienation from your ex

Canceling your parenting time, scheduling your children so they aren’t available when they should be with you or telling lies or inappropriate truths about your marriage can all be forms of parental alienation.

One or two issues likely won’t be enough to justify going back to court, but multiple denied parenting sessions or children refusing to see you because of what your ex said to them could be reason to ask the family courts to intervene.

You can ask for enforcement of your existing order when you haven’t gotten time with the children. In cases where one parent displays an obvious intention to damage the relationship that the other has with the kids, the family courts may even approve a modification request. When one parent will not uphold the parenting plan, the other may have no option to see court enforcement. Fighting back when the other parent’s actions affect your shared custody rights can help preserve the relationship you have with your children.