There is nothing worse than thinking that you’re going to have custody of your child for the weekend or the next week only to receive a message that the other parent isn’t dropping them off or to get to the pick-up point and have no one there at all.
This kind of problem might be acceptable if it happens once or twice over a number of years, but if it’s happening regularly and the other parent seems to be intentionally withholding custody, then it may be time to look into a custody modification.
Withholding custody is against your custody agreement
No court looks kindly upon a parent who withholds custody without a legitimate reason, such as a concern for their child’s safety. Even then, it’s expected that they will use the correct legal pathways to modify custody when needed.
If the other parent withholds custody without a good reason, they’re directly in violation of the original court order. As a result, you’re within your rights to file a child custody modification request asking for the custody order to be enforced and to be altered to one that you can rely on.
It’s possible that the custody order could be changed in one of several ways to help. It might be changed to give you sole or primary custody, for example, if the other parent is being unreasonable. It may also be changed to require supervision when your children are with your ex-spouse.
You can also try other options, like requesting that drop-offs and pick-ups happen at court-appointed locations, like a fire department or police station. Then, there would be additional supporting evidence if the other parent doesn’t show up on time or as directed.
When custody becomes a frustration, take steps to resolve problems
You have a right to a relationship with your child and the time that was granted to you in your custody order. If the other parent is withholding custody, you may be able to take steps to have them penalized for doing so and to change the custody order to one that works. If your child is refusing to see you, then you may still need to have a court step in to address concerns like parental alienation or other problems leading to a conflict in your relationship.