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What happens if your ex won't let you see your children?

Divorcing can often lead to strong negative feelings between former spouses. It's not uncommon for people to act out toward their ex during and after a divorce, even if both parties have already moved on with their lives. Some people even put their children in the middle, complaining about their ex in front of the kids or expecting the children to pick a side during the divorce.

In some cases, however, one person could take it too far, resulting in a situation that violates a court order or otherwise damage the relationship between the other parent and their shared children. Denying, canceling or repeatedly rescheduling visitation could be one of these potentially damaging situations. If your ex restricts access to your children despite the custody order, you may need to take action.

Try to resolve things amicably if possible

Whether or not you have negative emotions toward your ex, that person is still the other parent to your children. It's best to always try to approach interactions from a place of respect and honesty. That includes situations that could make you angry or emotionally upset, like not getting to see your kids as scheduled.

Instead of just taking drastic actions to address the issue, it may be better to try talking with your ex. Sometimes, a sit-down session to talk about parenting time can resolve the problem. If you can't keep calm, try typing a polite but firm email outlining the issue and referencing the terms of your custody agreement.

The courts can help you enforce or change a custody agreement

If you can't communicate with your ex or she just won't change the behavior, you need to ask the courts to step in. Generally speaking, the courts favor shared custody in Indiana divorces, because the most important guiding factor in custody decisions should be the best interests of the children. Typically, the best interests include having a positive and ongoing relationship with both parents after the divorce.

When one parent chooses to isolate or alienate the children from the other parent, it can cause serious damage to both parent-child relationships. It can also make the emotional process of adjusting to and recovering from the divorce more difficult for the children. Refusing to comply with a shared custody order could be grounds for asking for a modification. That could mean that you receive primary custody or that the courts take enforcement actions against your ex.

During all of this, try to keep your children's needs at the front of your mind. No matter how upset you are, don't talk poorly about your ex in front of the children. Do your best to focus on enjoying the time you have with the kids, and it will benefit them and your relationship with them in the long run.

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Robert Schembs
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Indianapolis, IN 46204

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