Going through a divorce, moving into a new home and getting used to seeing one’s children on a vastly reduced schedule is bad enough, without layering additions stressful issues on top. However, for many California fathers, the tension does not end when the ink has dried and the boxes are unpacked. Visitation issues plague many non-custodial parents, and while it is not always the father who gets visitation, that pattern is still the norm in California and across the nation.
There are a variety of visitation problems that can occur. In some cases, the custodial parent is simply bad at time management or is struggling to get used to the realities of living alone with the child or children. In other cases, the custodial parent makes an intentional effort to interfere with the parenting time allotted to the former spouse. Visits are ‘forgotten’ or cancelled at the last minute, or simply denied altogether.
For parents who are going through this scenario, it is important to keep in mind that both children and parents benefit from having a strong bond. The importance of keeping regular visitation schedules is especially important in the timeframe immediately following a divorce, as kids need a sense of stability amidst so many other changes. In many cases, visitation problems should be addressed firmly as soon as they occur, in order to avoid a worsening situation that leads to greatly reduced parenting time.
California fathers facing these or any other visitation obstacles should research their options for legal recourse. In some cases, even initiating the legal process can be enough to motivate the other parent to fall into line and comply with the existing child custody and visitation schedule. In others, it may be necessary to approach a family court and ask for a modification to the current order, or ask that the court use its authority to enforce the existing order.
Source: Huffington Post, “Disparity Between Child Support and Custody Enforcement,” Joseph E. Cordell, May 3, 2013