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Can your ex deny you access to your children during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Divorce |

Divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in people. While your spouse has always been a loving parent and supportive partner, they may now view you as the enemy and behave very differently than they did before you filed for divorce. Unfortunately, the change in their behavior has included the choice to cut you off from the kids.

They may have kicked you out of the marital home and now won’t let you back in. On the other hand, they may turn you away from the front door of the apartment where they currently live without even letting you talk to your children. Can your ex interfere in your relationship with your children?

You can request a temporary custody order

Things can be a little bit unpredictable in the earliest days of divorce and your ex may not yet realize what responsibilities they have to you and the children. If there is not yet a temporary custody order in place for some reason, you may need to go to family court to request one.

Judges will typically sign off on temporary parenting plans that divide both decision-making authority and parenting time between divorcing spouses. The two of you can then negotiate different terms during the divorce or wait for a judge to conduct a more thorough review of your family circumstances and enter a final custody order.

What if you have a custody order?

Sometimes, you already have a temporary order granting you shared custody or at least visitation with the kids, but your ex won’t uphold the order as they should. When your ex cancels or diminishes your court-ordered parenting time, you may be able to ask for enforcement actions from the family court.

If you document their misconduct, you might also be able to use it as evidence in court and secure more parenting time in the final custody order. If you already have a final order, a judge may modify it to reflect your ex’s misconduct.

Understanding the rules that protect you in a shared custody arrangement will help you preserve your relationship with your children even when your ex is not supportive of your presence in their lives.