As a parent who does not live full-time with the other parent of your children, you are subject to the terms of a custody order or parenting plan. You and the other parent have agreed to divide your parenting time in a specific way.
The children may spend roughly half of their nights at your house, or you may take them for extended visitation. In either scenario, you should be able to count on seeing your children as scheduled in your parenting plan.
Unfortunately, there are many parents in Ohio who will use their children as a bargaining chip or weapon in the relationship they have with the other parent. What rights do you have when your ex cancels your time with your children?
You should receive make-up parenting time
If you were to cancel your scheduled time with the children, whether or not you can make that time up later will largely depend on your ex’s feelings on the matter. However, when they are the one to cancel your time with the kids, then you have the right to request make-up parenting time.
They should agree to reschedule the full amount of time that you did not receive with the children, whether there was a scheduling issue with the doctor’s office or detention at school. Your ex has an obligation to work with you, support your parenting efforts and communicate openly with you about the children.
Unfortunately, when there is a pattern of one parent canceling or reducing the other’s parenting time, requesting makeup parenting time may get you nowhere. You may need to go to the Ohio family courts and request custody enforcement.
How custody enforcement works
If an Ohio judge reviews the situation and agrees that the other parent has violated the terms of the custody order by refusing to let you spend time with the children or reducing your parenting time without allowing you to make it up, they can reprimand the other parent and order them to grant you make-up parenting time.
Then, if you still don’t get the time with your children you should, you may be able to ask for a modification that grants you more parenting time. A judge will look unfavorably on one parent who intentionally interferes in the relationship that the other has with the children. The short-term frustrations of canceled and diminished parenting time could eventually lead to you having more time with the children overall.
Knowing and asserting your rights in a shared custody scenario will be crucial, especially in high-conflict situations.