As a parent, when you filed for divorce in a Pennsylvania court, you no doubt understood that part of the process would include negotiating terms of agreement regarding the needs of your children. You and your ex must discuss where your kids are going to live, which one of you will be custodial parent or if you will share physical custody. If you and your ex do not get along well, achieving a settlement for child custody might prove stressful.
Once you and your ex sign a child custody agreement and the court approves it, you are both obligated to adhere to the terms, unless and until the judge overseeing your case decides to modify the order. Serious legal problems can arise if your ex tries to sabotage your child custody plan.
Is your ex thwarting your parenting time?
Your child custody order likely includes terms of agreement regarding exchanges of custody. One of the ways your ex might try to upset you is to constantly disrupt your agreed-upon plans. This can be a form of passive-aggressive behavior. For instance, rather than creating drama, your ex might simply call or text you every time you are about to meet to exchange custody and give you an excuse as to why he or she needs to change the schedule.
This not only disrupts your children’s daily routine but can cause tremendous frustration on your part, especially if you suspect that your ex’s reasons for changing the schedule are not legitimate and that he or she is just trying to make you angry.
Your ex cannot deny you access to your children
If you are dealing with a former spouse who is blatantly disregarding a child custody order, he or she might be denying you access to your children. If your kids come home and tell you things, such as they wanted to call or text you but their other parent would not allow it, this is a serious legal problem.
Unless the court has restricted your access to your children, your former spouse has no right to impede their ability to correspond with you. Not showing up to exchange custody or blocking your number on your children’s cell phones are other ways that your ex might try to deny you access to your kids.
The law is on your side if your ex is disregarding a child custody order
It is always best to try to resolve child custody issues after a divorce, as soon as they arise. If your ex is violating the terms of the agreement, you can ask the court to intervene to help resolve the problem. A family court judge is not going to look in favor of a parent who is disregarding court orders.
In fact, if a judge assesses a situation and finds just cause, he or she can hold your ex in contempt of court for refusing to adhere to the terms of an existing child custody order.