If your children's other parent (mother or father) is repeatedly denying you access, against a court order, then you should keep track of the circumstances. But do not let it go on too long. You should go back to court, on a motion, and ask for the court to order make-up access for the time you have missed at times that work for the children and you. The judge will not be happy that your ex is not obeying the court order. He or she will get told off. While the judge will always make the order that is in the best interests of the children (more on this webpage), an important factor in that is how willing a parent is to support another parent. Bringing a contempt motion right after a problem starts might make you look like a bully or part of the problem. However, if the problem persists, then you can use the judges comments on the first motion (for make-up time) as part of your evidence in the contempt motion and the second judge will probably be really angry.
While it is important to be patient and measured in your actions while being denied access, so that the judge sees you as a victim and not part of the problem, you should never give up trying to see your kids. Keep going to the pick-ups, even if they are not there. Keep knocking on the door at the times you are supposed to go. Send your kids cards, emails and texts that tell them that you love them. It is important that you child not feel like you have abandoned them - and kids can feel that way even if you are not willingly missing the access. Trying to maintain contact demonstrates to both your kids and the court how valuable your relationship with your children is, which can make the task of re-establishing access much easier.
If the other parent says the kids do not want to go, check out this page. That is often not a valid reason for denying access. For some strategies for what to do when a child refuses to go visit the other parent, or the other parent says that, listen to the podcast on the left. You need to plan your approach to the situation before going to court.
Whenever you go to court, you should consider the circumstances of your children and the effect that your actions might have on them. Judges really like it when you show you are sensitive to those considerations. To find out more about them, listen to this Divorce Source Radio podcast. The most effective way to make the best case to a judge is to have a family lawyer (or divorce lawyer) help you. You should also get a copy of this easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law as a paperback, for Kindle, Kobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac. which you can download in minutes! That book covers these topics, and gives advice on how to navigate through Family Court and how to keep the judges on your side.
Parents who take matters into their own hands and defy court orders - either that they allow access, or that they turn over the kids because they are not allowing access - face serious consequences. The video below is an example of what can happen to parents who defy judges’ orders to support the other parent’s relationship wth the kids:
or click here to listen to a radio segment on the consequences of these cases - for the parents and the children:
Family Lawyer, John Schuman, is a Certified Specialist in Family Law, who had handled many difficult custody and access cases - including many cases where a parent is denying access. Ensuring that children have a meaningful relationship with both parents is critically important for a child’s well being. Contact John Schuman for an immediate consultation by calling 416-446-5869, emailing him, or using the contact form below. You can also use comment on this page in the comments section at the very bottom of the page.
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