My Ex is Withholding Visitation with my Children: What Should I Do?

September 2nd, 2022
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If your ex is withholding visitation with your children, you’ll want to take action quickly so that you can see them again as soon as possible. No matter how messy your divorce is, keeping a child from their parent for revenge is harmful for the child. If you have a custody agreement in place then you are entitled to your visits, so if your spouse is withholding your kids, you can take legal action. First of all, document everything so that you have a record of events. Before you jump to the worst conclusion, reach out to your ex and make sure that this isn’t a simple miscommunication. If they are purposefully keeping your children from you, reach out to your attorney to take the next legal steps. And remember, continue paying child support so that you don’t wind up in trouble yourself. Hopefully, you’ll be able to restore your visits quickly so that you don’t lose any precious time with your children.

Document Everything

If your ex is withholding visitation with your children, it’s important to document everything. Keep a record of each missed visit and any conversations you have with your ex-spouse. If you try to make-up your missed visit, make a note of that as well. Keeping a timeline of events will help you in the future if you wind up needing to go to court. When in doubt, document everything.

Rule Out Miscommunication

Before you begin taking drastic steps, it’s a good idea to rule out miscommunication. If your spouse is withholding visitation and this is out of character for them, make sure that they didn’t just forget the visit. Especially if your co-parenting relationship is healthy. However, if they frequently miss visits, or if you think they are acting out of revenge, then it’s best to take action quickly.

Contact Your Attorney

When your ex is withholding visitation, it’s best to contact your attorney. They can send a letter on your behalf to encourage your ex to allow the visits. For example, they can send a warning that you’ll be taking legal action against them if they don’t allow you to see your children. Often, the threat of this is enough to get your visitation back. However, if this doesn’t work, your attorney can file a motion in court. A judge has the power to enforce visitation, change your custody order, or even issue legal sanctions against your ex.

Continue Child Support

One thing to remember if your spouse is withholding visitation is that this doesn’t give you the right to stop child support payments. It often feels like if your ex is preventing you from seeing your children, then it’s fair to stop making payments. However, this will only make matters worse. Visitation and child support are separate matters. Withholding your payments will land you in trouble yourself and could even result in fines or legal action.

Visitation with your children is so important for their mental health and yours as well. And if you have a custody agreement in place that allows visitation, those visits are your legal right. If your ex is withholding visitation out of revenge or in retaliation, you need to take action in order to restore your visits. Begin documenting everything that happens in case you need to take the issue to court. Try to reach out to your ex to make sure that the missed visit isn’t just an oversight. If you are sure that they are purposefully keeping you from your children, then it’s time to reach out to your attorney. They’ll guide you through the process of taking legal action against your ex. But remember that even though your ex is withholding your visits, you still need to keep making your child support payments to avoid your own legal trouble. It’s unfair for one parent to keep children away from their other parent, so hopefully you and your attorney can work quickly to restore your visits as soon as possible.