For couples with minor children divorcing in Minnesota, finding a way to divvy up parenting time and responsibilities will be one of the more time-consuming aspects of the divorce process. Once either you and your ex negotiate and agree on terms or the courts settle the issue by entering a custody order, you might assume that the conflict related to the division of your parental responsibilities is finally over.
Sadly, there are many parents who will knowingly and intentionally violate the terms that the court sets in the best interest of their children. Sometimes it starts small, with a few denied or shortened visits. Other times, your ex won’t even be subtle about it. They might just let you know that they don’t intend to let you see the children anymore.
When you start running into these kinds of custody issues with your ex, you might feel like you have nowhere to turn. However, you can request enforcement action from the state or potentially a modification of the custody order because of your ex’s non-compliance.
Document your missed parenting time in writing
If you want the courts to take you seriously when you go to them and allege that you haven’t been allowed to spend time with your children, you will need to have details about the instances in which your ex has refused or shortened your parenting time with the kids.
Keeping a written record of the exact events, including anything your ex said and screenshots of messages they sent to you, can help you prove that you haven’t been getting your parenting time in compliance with the court order. That evidence will make it easier for you to go to the Minnesota family courts and request enforcement. They may reprimand your spouse and even have law enforcement accompany you to ensure the transfer of custody occurs quickly and safely.
Denied parenting time can result in new custody terms
If your ex isn’t letting you see your kids and their refusal is a violation of a court order, filing a request for a modification hearing could help you and your kids. When the courts see that one parent isn’t willing to work with the other, they may alter their previous custody arrangements by giving more parenting time to the parent previously denied access to the kids.
After all, to make custody determinations in the best interests of the children, and they expect that parents will also act with a focus on what the kids need. When one parent demonstrates that they won’t work with the other or put the focus on the kids, the courts may reduce their parenting time.