Parents can run into all kinds of minor hiccups when they share custody, but there are generally two main kinds of serious issues about parenting time.
Understanding the most common ways in which parents fall out of compliance with a New Jersey custody order or parenting plan can help you better protect your children during a divorce or when custody issues arise after a divorce is final.
One parent denying the other access to the children
Arguably the most well-known custody issue involves one parent trying to keep the other from spending any time with the children at all. Even when there is a custody order in place, parents can sometimes try to deny one another access.
They might cancel scheduled visitation or cut time with the kids short. They might even blame their actions on the children, saying the kids really don’t want to see the other parent. The parent not receiving visitation will need to document what occurs and likely go to the court to ask for enforcement so that they can see their children.
One parent not showing up for their parenting time
Not everyone who gets shared custody in a divorce actually wants to spend as much time as possible with their kids. Some of them just want to feel like they “won” in the custody battle — while others want to keep their child support costs low. A parent not showing up for their custody time or visitation can cause complications for the other parent. One parent may need to make last-minute childcare arrangements, miss work or cancel plans.
Parents who cannot rely on their ex to show up for parenting time should document every cancellation. The courts may agree to modify the custody order to reflect the infrequency of visitation in some cases.
Navigating shared custody arrangements can be easier if you and your ex agree to work with one another and keep the focus on what is best for your children.