What to Do if Your Ex-Spouse Won’t Respect Your Parenting Rights

Most parents love and want to see their children after separation or divorce. Unless they are violent or abusive, the courts concur. That doesn’t mean your ex will co-operate.

Your Ex is Blocking Access, What Now?

It’s Saturday morning and you’re excited about taking the kids for pizza and surfing at the wave pool. Sure enough, your ex calls at the last minute. They’re too busy, third weekend in a row. Is that hurting your kids as much as it hurts you?

Is Your Ex Hurting Your Kids?

Your ex-partner is letting their parental obligations slip. Frequent absences can lead to lifelong alienation and, in some cases, psychiatric disturbances. Low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and sleeping or eating disorders can be traced to parenting problems. Regardless of your feelings for each other, interfering in a parent-child bond is emotional abuse. 

Five Signs Your Ex is Interfering

  1. They continuously phone the kids while you are visiting.
  2. Your children are discouraged from talking about you. 
  3. The kids spend a lot of time with friends or family who take your ex’s side.
  4. Police or courts are told you had access dates mixed up.
  5. Your kids’ school, coaches or caregivers think you are a threat.

You Suspect Parental Alienation – Where Do You Turn?

Manipulating, rejecting, ignoring or corrupting your children’s opinions is parental alienation syndrome. Ontario family courts deal with “brainwashing” complaints about vindictive parents all the time. Make your next visit to an Axess Law family lawyer. They’re experienced at preparing your complaint for court. 

Could it Possibly Get Worse?

It can and has. You know your ex-spouse best. If child abduction or physical abuse is a possibility, ask the court to change their custodial or access rights. Exchanging your kids at a mall or police station may be a safer option. You can’t anticipate everything, but you can be proactive in protecting your children’s best interests.

Are Court-ordered Interventions Effective?

Interventions to prevent psychological or physical harm can work. Counselling, as a family or on your own, can be helpful. A neutral third party could be asked to monitor custody and access. Although court orders may cause resentment, they assert your access rights and can prevent harm or isolation. Axess Law family law lawyers can make suggestions for ensuring family court orders are specific and enforceable.

Proving Interference or Alienation

To prove parental interference or alienation, keep notes. Record when visits are postponed or cancelled and why. Ask others to document what they were told about your visitation rights. You can share it with an Axess Law lawyer or use it in family court. You could even ask the courts for a non-interference clause.

Book an Appointment

Axess Law’s Toronto family lawyers can give you solid legal advice on access, custody rights and parental interference. Make an appointment at 1-647-479-0118 or use our online booking form. Lawyers are available 7 days a week, at your convenience. You can contact us remotely by phone, email or video call.

Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s family law services.