When you got divorced, you wisely resolved to put your children ahead of your personal feelings and work as hard as possible with your ex to be good parents.
Unfortunately, your ex-spouse didn’t take that approach. Whether they’re generally emotionally immature or just unable to let go of your relationship, your ex-spouse may:
- Turn every custody exchange or visitation into a battle: You may find yourself being screamed at, verbally abused or harassed when you try to drop off or pick up the kids.
- Manipulate your children’s emotions: Some divorced parents play the victim very well. Your ex may say and do things to make your children fear you or resent you unfairly. This is called parental alienation syndrome, and it’s quite serious.
- Refuse to participate in important decisions: When your child needs to be put on medication or there’s an issue at school, your ex-spouse may enjoy the power they hold over you by dragging out the process.
- Refuse to adhere to a parenting plan: You may have important agreements about your child’s religious instruction, diet, education and more — but those agreements don’t count for much if your ex-spouse routinely flouts them.
- Take your child without permission: Your ex-spouse only has a limited right to travel with your child without notifying you in advance and getting your consent. Depending on the circumstances, your ex-spouse’s actions may rise to the level of “custodial interference.”
There are many reasons that you might want to revisit a parenting plan. You or your ex-spouse may want to move, your child may want to change households, your job could change and so on. However, noncompliance with a parenting plan and chronic problems that are negatively affecting your children could also be a good reason to discuss a custody modification.