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What to do when an ex denies visitation rights

When divorce results in separation from your children, it can be a painful struggle to keep your parental bond strong. You need to take advantage of every minute you have together, and the courts generally recognize how important this is. In many cases these days, family law judges favor an equitable division of parenting time, encouraging parents to negotiate their own schedules if possible.

In rare instances, such as in cases of violence or substance abuse, a Texas judge may deny or restrict a parent visitation. More often, however, instead of outright denial, a judge will order supervised visitation, with clear stipulations about where, when and under what circumstances the parent will be with the child. However, if your custody issues were resolved with a fair schedule of visitation, you may still be frustrated by the other parent's attempts to keep you from your children.

Why is your spouse denying you?

A court order allowing you to spend time with your children is not an "option" that your parenting partner may accept or reject. Whether you worked out the agreement together or accepted the ruling of the court, your former spouse must abide by the orders of the judge. Your co-parent may have personal reasons for denying you access to your children, but it is important to understand these points:

  • Your co-parent may not deny you visitation as punishment for falling behind on child support.
  • The other parent may disapprove of the person you are currently dating and want to keep the children away from you as a result.
  • It is common for one parent to feel angry following a custody ruling, and your ex-spouse may be wrongly using custody to express that anger.
  • It is not right for your ex to deny you visitation because he or she may be having transportation issues or simply feels that the custody schedule is "too inconvenient" for the children.
  • Your former spouse may allegedly have concerns about the safety of the children in your care.
  • Your children may be expressing reluctance to go with you, according to your ex.

It is normal for children to feel confused and angry at the changes in their family following a divorce, but it is also possible that your former spouse is attempting to alienate or isolate the children from you. You may wish to learn more about parental alienation as psychological abuse of your children, and see if you recognize other signs that this may be happening to your children.

Whether you suspect parental alienation or other reasons for your spouse to deny your right to visitation, you will help yourself by writing down all the details every time your spouse refuses you access to the children to document that refusal in writing, by recordings, by witnesses, and by police incident reports when appropriate. You may be able to talk it over with your ex and trying to understand why he or she is keeping you from the kids. If you are unable to work it out with a reasonable conversation with your ex, you may wish to seek advice from an experienced Board-certified expert Family Law attorney for taking legal action to protect your parental rights.

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