Custody restrictions are difficult. When you’re used to living with your children, you are used to having access to them whenever you like. If you are divorced, though, you may be limited by the orders of a judge or by the agreement you made with your former spouse. Unfortunately, there are other things that can restrict your access to your children. You may, for example, find that your ex is taking it upon himself to make sure that you can’t see the kids. It’s important to know what to do when and if your ex is restricting your access to the kids.
First, it’s important to decide what it means to limit or restrict access to the kids. What precisely is your spouse doing? Is he making it difficult for you to see the kids, or is he actually making it impossible? Is your ex keeping the kids from you, or merely making you jump through hoops to see them? There’s a fine line between the two, and it’s much harder to get any kind of remedy for the latter. Stop for a moment to think about what specifically is happening and then be prepared to take action. Being precise might be a very big deal in the near future.
The first thing you need to do in either case is to document exactly what is happening. Having a record of your former spouse’s activities will help you in court. Every time he denies you access to the children, make sure you write it down. If possible have someone else there to corroborate your story. The more evidence you can have him restricting your access, the better. Unless something changes quickly, this is an issue that you’ll end up having to take to court. Having a good timeline can be very helpful.
Next, you’ll want to look at your custody arrangement. If you do have a custody arrangement, your husband’s inability to follow the document will put him at odds with court orders. You may be able to go to court to get a specific remedy in this case. You may, for example, even be able to get the police on your side. This is only the case if your husband is making it actually impossible for you to see the kids, though – merely making it difficult or inconvenient is unlikely to get you any kind of quick remedy.
Finally, you’ll want to stop and make sure that any action take is through the courts. It can be incredibly frustrating not to have access to your children, especially if you believe that you have a right to see them. Trying to take any action on your own, though, can put you in a difficult situation. Issues like trespassing still occur even if you believe you are in the legal right and you might find yourself in trouble with the law if you do not go through the right channels. The last thing you want is to put yourself or your custody of your children in jeopardy by acting rashly.
Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do on your own if your former spouse is restricting your access to your children. The first, and most important, thing you can do is to speak to a lawyer. You will need to go to the court and possibly even the police to make sure the orders you have in place are followed to the letter. This can be a lengthy and painful process and there’s not guarantee that an easy solution will be found. Your goal should be to make sure your children are safe first and then that you’ll be able to put yourself in a position to get the visitation or custody you deserve. Your former spouse does not have the right to keep you from your children, but you must go through the right legal channels to assert your rights.