Sharing custody with your ex will inevitably mean that you have some disagreements. Most of the time, you need to work together to resolve those issues rather than going back to court. Your ability and willingness to cooperate is one of the factors the courts consider when they decide how much time with the kids to allocate to each of you, so cooperating when possible is important.
However, your ex could still engage in certain behaviors that demand that you address them. You can file a petition with the New York courts asking them to enforce a custody order. What are some of the valid reasons to enforce existing custody orders in court?
Your ex constantly shows up early or late
To share custody, you need to operate on the same schedule. Knowing when the kids will come to your house and when they will leave is important. Your ex showing up late to pick the children up could make you late for work or a social engagement. Them showing up late to drop them off might put you in a state of panic, worrying that they were in a car crash.
You should be able to trust that the other parent will show up at the right time consistently, with a little consideration for the occasional slip-up. If they are significantly earlier or later many times, then you may need to ask the court to enforce the order so that they treat the schedule with more respect.
They cancel visitation or parenting time
Maybe you have far less parenting time than your ex, and they constantly have reasons why you can’t pick up the kids. On the other hand, maybe your ex cancels their own parenting time and always has excuses for why they are too busy to spend time with their children.
When one parent reduces the parenting time of the other or does not show up for their scheduled parenting time, an enforcement action could help. The courts could remind one parent that they must reschedule canceled parenting time or even modify the parenting plan to reflect the behavior of the parents.
They fail to provide for the children’s needs
Do your kids come back to your house having gone an entire day without eating? Have they missed doctors’ appointments or days at school because your ex didn’t keep them where they need to go? In a scenario where one parent fails to fulfill the basic responsibilities of caring for the children, you may be able to initiate enforcement actions for the sake of your children.
Knowing when to speak up and when to try to address things informally can help you navigate the complexities of shared custody in New York.