From enforcing a bedtime for younger children to how to handle your child’s report card, co-parenting with your ex will be full of disagreements. Some of these issues, though, are a violation of your parental rights, and you can fight back against them in court. Could your parenting frustrations be a cause for enforcement?
Child support payments are not optional.
Less than half of all parents receive the full amount of child support payments that they are due, and that can mean the difference between meeting your child’s needs and making hard budgetary decisions. If your ex is not paying child support after a court order or if they are failing to pay the full amount they were ordered, enforcement could result in the court garnishing their wages to ensure that you receive the support you need.
Not upholding court orders for visitation or custody.
You want to be an active part of your child’s life, but if your ex is not willing to let you see your children then you can fight back. While this can involve outright refusal to let you see your children, delays in dropping them off for their time at your home or failure to reschedule visitation could also be cause for enforcement.
If you are supposed to make legal decisions together, don’t let your ex push you around.
Sharing legal custody of your children means sharing a lot of important decisions about their healthcare, schooling and other aspects of their life. If your spouse is making major decisions without your input—changing your child’s primary care physician or moving them into a new classroom, for example—that is a violation of your agreement to make those decisions together. Even small unilateral decisions like making medical appointments without letting you know could be a violation of your parental rights.
Whatever you do, try to stay calm and obey court orders.
You are doing your best to be a good parent, but with frustration building it can be tempting to take matters into your own hands. However, it is important to uphold your end of the child custody and support agreement, even if they do not. Continuing to pay child support and obeying court orders about your custody arrangement will give you a stronger legal foothold for enforcing the order.
Instead of fighting with your ex directly, make a record of the issues that you have had. This record will allow you to show when and how your ex has violated your parental rights, and it will provide an important foundation when you make a petition to the court.