Ask a Miami Divorce Attorney: Custody Battles: What do I do when my Ex will not let me see the kids?

No matter what your parenting time schedule looks like, you probably look forward to every minute you get to spend with your kids — but what happens when your ex doesn’t cooperate?  A bitter divorce,  a nasty custody battle, and a miserable relationship with your ex are the main ingredients of a hateful, ongoing war, with your children caught in between them.  Whether you’re in the middle of a divorce or you already have a custody agreement in place, these tips can help ensure that your ex sticks to the schedule so you can enjoy the time with your kids that you deserve.

First, make sure you have a copy of the custody order that shows that you have primary custody of the kids.  keep that with you at all times when your ex has the kids.  Second, read through the order to make sure that your rights are upheld, and that your ex is violating those rights.  Triple check and make sure that you are in the right before you proceed.

Next, talk it out.  We suggest that you try talking to your ex to determine why he or she isn’t allowing you to see your kids.  there may be a misunderstanding about the custody agreement or scheduling conflicts that you can work out on your own.  Your ex may believe you’re not entitled to see the kids if you’re late paying child support, which is untrue, or that he or she has the right to decide whether you see them or not (that’s also untrue).  Sometimes a simple conversation can resolve the issue.

Explain the situation to them.  Provide any email or text correspondence or information, where it was obvious that the pickup, and drop-off times were pre-agreed upon.  Express your concern to the officer about the situation and ask for help in recovering the children.  There are too many cases nowadays where an ex has kidnaped the children.  So you do need to act quickly, because you do not know the level that your ex will go to because he/she is already violating your agreement and refusing to return the kids.  Maybe there was an unexpected change of plans.  However, once you are certain, waste no time in getting law-enforcement because they can gather the resources needed in case this becomes a dangerous situation.

What You Can — ad Cannot — Do

Although it’s extremely frustrating to deal with an ex who won’t let you see your kids, there are right and wrong ways to correct the situation.

  • You cannot withhold child support.  child support and visitation are two separate issues under the law.
  • You cannot threaten your ex with violence.  That’s against the law and it could result in your ex getting a protective order against you.
  • You can try to talk things out with your ex and fix the situation through conversation.
  • You can reach out to a divorce lawyer to file the appropriate motions through the court system to enforce your parenting time agreement.

How We Can Help

If you, a friend or family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away.  Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed family law attorney who has been practicing law since 1987.  He is available whenever you need him to pursue your rights.  Please learn about our firm at