Whether you have a temporary order put in place while you wait for divorce proceedings or you already have a full parenting plan, you deserve time with your children. The custody order likely sets a specific schedule and may also have rules about what to do when one parent needs to cancel or reschedule. The goal is to maintain the approximate breakdown of parenting time as best as possible.
The other parent of your children should cooperate when you spend time with your shared children in accordance with your parenting plan. Although issues do arise, they should communicate with you proactively about schedule changes and cooperate during custody exchanges.
Unfortunately, there are some people who let their personal feelings about a former partner influence their behavior when sharing custody of their children. What rights do you have if you get turned away when you show up for your parenting time?
You can ask the family courts for enforcement
A court order related to custody binds both parents, and those who fail to follow the custody order could face penalties. When someone does not abide by the existing custody order or parenting plan, they open the door to custody enforcement actions.
You will need evidence that the other parent has violated the plan. Keeping detailed records of every time you don’t get to see your children or when you only received shortened parenting time will make it clear that there has been a pattern of intentional acts depriving you of access to your children and negatively affecting your relationship with them.
You can then take that documentation to the courts for an enforcement hearing. A judge can order make-up parenting time. They can declare the other parent to be in contempt of court, which would lead to numerous penalties. They could also modify your existing custody order to increase your rights and reduce those of the other parent because they have shown an inability to put what is best for the children ahead of their own petty vindictiveness.
Those worried about how the actions of their co-parent may harm their relationship with their children have rights under Arizona law. Requesting enforcement actions from the Arizona family courts can help those struggling with a contentious shared custody situation.