How to Deal with Retaliatory Behaviors in Co-Parenting

After a separation or divorce, most parents set aside the pain of a failed relationship and try to focus on the needs of their children. However, there are people who are unable to build a conducive co-parenting relationship for the sake of their children.

A fractious relationship with your ex can make co-parenting much more challenging. Separation is almost always emotionally demanding, and often leads to acrimony or rancor towards each other.

Co-parenting is inherently strenuous, and any additional display of retaliatory behavior by your ex can easily compound the problem, making the entire process even more untenable. A vindictive ex-spouse can drain you mentally and emotionally, taking a toll on your energies with their unpredictable behavior.

People can turn vindictive for various reasons, one of these being a misplaced desire to keep on being a part of your life, even if in a negative way. Some others may feel dissatisfied with the parenting plan and may look to exact revenge for the presumed unfairness, by trying to wreck your relationship with your kid.

However, when it comes to children, a separated or divorced couple needs to set aside differences and move on with their lives to enable a better future for their kids. Let us discuss what you can do if a contentious relationship with your ex is interfering with your co-parenting.

Here are a few examples of how one co-parent may break a court-ordered custody agreement:

  • Court ordered visitation is refused by one parent
  • One parent continually misses their visitation time
  • One parent interrupts the other parent’s time
  • Parental kidnapping

Preempt Retaliatory Behavior

First, if you know or can anticipate that your ex can be vindictive and may try to harm your relationship with your children, you must address this in your parenting plan. Consult with your attorney and try to add a provision for mediation or co-parenting therapy in the face of retaliatory behavior by your ex.

Acknowledge and Accept

You must also realize that you cannot expect to change someone else’s behavior, however badly you want to, for the sake of your children. There might be times when you will despair over the negative influence of your ex-spouse’s acrimonious behavior on your child.

Practice Parallel Parenting

In co-parenting, a couple needs to work together to parent their children. However, true co-parenting is not possible with a parent who is vindictive or displays retaliatory behavior.

Steps to Take When a Custody Agreement is Broken

  1. Document All Violations

You need to gather as much evidence as you possibly can for proving that the parenting plan was violated. This should be for all issues that arise. Make sure you keep detailed records, including the time the children are picked up and dropped off. You should list whether the co-parent was late, on time, or didn’t show up. You can also include details about other custody order interferences that you observed. You should also consider saving audio recordings, voicemails, video evidence, and text messages that can help establish custody order violations.

  1. Try to Resolve Things Out of Court

Call out the other parent’s behavior before you take matters to court. You can tell them specific instances when they violated the custody agreement. You can determine if the other parent’s behavior was intentional by confronting and discussing the matter.

  1. Ask Your Attorney to Write to the Co-parent

You can always have your attorney write a letter to the other parent or their attorney if your conversation did not go as planned or if you are still experiencing issues. This is a simple step and can help you avoid going to court and paying litigation expenses. The letter should inform the co-parent that they risk legal action by not adhering to the custody agreement.

  1. File a Motion of Contempt

You can always file a Motion for Contempt if you are in a situation where your ex-partner is not ready to follow the custody order as entered by the court. You should consider speaking with your attorney about the necessary course of action. When someone doesn’t follow the provisions laid down in a court order, they can be taken to court and punished. This means that if the other parent is violating the provisions mentioned in the custody order or not following the custody schedule, you can bring them into court by filing a Motion of Contempt.

You need documentary evidence for this. You would need to track all the specific dates and times when the other parent of your children violated the order. Each violation can be mentioned in the Motion for showing the court the exact manner in which the custody order was not being followed.

Punishment for Not Following Custody Order or Visitation Order in Alabama

There are harsh consequences to disobeying a court directed child custody order, such as:

  • Non-violating co-parent can petition the court for enforcing the child custody court order.
  • Violating parents would be required to explain the reason for violating the court order by appearing in court.
  • It is possible the court may find the parent that violated the provisions of the custody agreement to be in contempt of the court. This can result in jail time.
  • The violating parent may lose previously granted custody rights if they are found to be in contempt of the court.

Legal Help for Your Co-Parent’s Retaliatory Behavior in Alabama

The legal team at Alsobrook Law Group understands the pain of dealing with a co-parent’s retaliatory behaviors. Talk to our compassionate and accomplished attorney about all your concerns regarding your acrimonious ex and how it is affecting your child, and their relationship with you.

We can assess your situation and skillfully guide you towards suitable action to handle and counter your co-parent’s behavior. Call us at (334) 345-2765 directly or contact us online today for an initial case review.