Common problems after contentious divorces involving children include alienation and intrusions to visitation rights, and we discussed how to avoid alienation in our last post. This post involves challenges parents may face in regards to visitation rights.
About Visitation – Trying to distance children from one parent is harmful, but there is also danger when a parent subtly thwarts visitation rights or ignores visitation rights. Children need consistency after a divorce, and meeting with a parent at agreed upon times helps provide stability and lets children know the noncustodial parent is still there for them.
Interfering with Visitation: This happens if a custodial parent cuts visitation short, regularly cancels and changes scheduled times, presses kids for information about visiting with the other parent and more. The parent with sole child custody does have more discretion and may need to make changes sometimes but cannot abuse this position. Noncustodial parents should act the same way here as with stopping alienation.
Ignoring Visitation: Visitation is a right and a responsibility that may eventually be limited or taken away if a parent fails to show up at designated times, and courts could assign fines or community service when one does not attend visitation. Communicating and making up for absences is important if you have visitation rights.
Creating a parenting plan that suits both parents and their children can be difficult and is especially challenging if parents cannot compromise or get along. For help when drafting a parenting plan and working with the other parent, contact us today.