Cooperation is a key element for California parents who wish to co-parent successfully following a divorce. Agreeing to treat one another in a respectful manner and to amicably discuss issues regarding your children is the first step toward peaceful co-parenting. What if those efforts fail, however, and your ex tries to sabotage your child custody plan?
When a California judge issues a child custody order in your divorce, you and your ex must adhere to its terms. In fact, neither of you has the authority to change any part of the order, unless you first petition the court and the judge grants your request. A noncooperative parent or a parent who disregards a court order may be in contempt of court.
Document every incidence of child custody sabotage
Details of an incident become difficult to recall as time passes. It takes time to resolve child custody problems. Therefore, it’s always best to document any incident of sabotage in writing. Perhaps create a file so that you can easily access the information as needed if you seek the court’s intervention to resolve the issue.
What does custody sabotage look like?
The following list provides several examples of ways a parent might try to sabotage a child custody plan:
- Doesn’t show up at the agreed-upon location or time to transfer custody
- Denies access to your children
- Intentionally disregards an obligation like paying child support
- Changes the terms of agreement without the court’s approval
- Lies to the kids about you
If you notice a pattern of behavior that suggests your ex is trying to sabotage your child custody plan, you can seek the court’s intervention. However, you must be prepared to substantiate your claim by providing evidence in court.
Children are the ones who suffer most from parental conflict after a divorce
If you and your ex work together as a team to resolve child custody issues, your kids may be better able to cope with your divorce. On the contrary, children who have constant exposure to parental conflict often experience high levels of stress and anxiety. To avoid disputes, it’s best to create a detailed custody plan that leaves little room for confusion or disagreement.
If you already have one in place, and your ex isn’t obeying the court order, the sooner you call out the behavior and resolve the issue, the better. Mentioning to your ex that you’re prepared to address the matter in court may be all it takes to stop the sabotage. If not, then do not hesitate to tap into local resources to enforce the child custody order.