Can My Ex Stop Me From Seeing My Kids?

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Is your ex-spouse or ex-partner refusing you your rights to see your children? Remember, you have legal rights.

Hi, I’m Sergio Cabanas, Managing Attorney of the Divorce & Mediation Law Firm. Thank you so much for joining us today. Today’s question is: “Sergio, help! My former spouse or former partner is denying me my rights to see my own children. Is there anything I can do about this? Do I have any legal rights?”

Generally, the law considers that both spouses have the right to time-sharing. In fact, there was a recent law in July of 2023 that specifically states that both parents have the right to time-sharing on an equal 50/50 basis unless they agree otherwise. If your former spouse or former partner is refusing to allow you to see your children for any reason, you have the right to file the proper legal action depending on the circumstances of your case.

Now, you may be tempted to call the police because your ex-spouse’s conduct may be so bad, so egregious to you, that you consider it to be criminal. However, the truth is that the police will usually not get involved because technically, from a legal standpoint, it’s not considered a criminal act. Instead, they’re likely to inform you that you should consult an attorney to pursue a private legal action and technically, from a legal standpoint, they’re right.

This issue usually comes up when there’s child support involved. For example, one parent denies the other the right to see the children because they haven’t paid the child support that they agreed to pay or the child support that they owe. Or one parent stops paying child support because the other is refusing time-sharing. Either way, the short answer is that you should take the higher road by doing the right thing.

The court considers the right to time-sharing and the right to child support as two independent considerations. So, if one parent stops paying child support for any reason, that person’s right to time-sharing should not be affected. Similarly, if you stop receiving the child support payments, this does not necessarily mean you can refuse your ex-spouse or ex-partner from having time-sharing with your children.

Either way, it’s best to show the court that you’ve complied with all your responsibilities and have fully complied with any existing court order or final judgment, if there is any. If so, you’ll have a better chance that the court will grant you the legal right to time-sharing or child support and enforce that right. The court may also give you additional makeup time-sharing, so that you can recover the time you lost with your children because of the other parent’s bad behavior. The same goes for child support. The court may order your former spouse or former partner to pay child support as well as recover any payments they may have missed in the past.

You may also recover attorney’s fees and cost to enforce your legal rights to see your children or to receive child support payments depending on the circumstances of your case. So, remember, you do have legal rights when it comes to time-sharing with your children. However, you should also make it a point to meet your obligations such as child support payments whenever possible.

If you need help in getting your ex to pay child support or if you want to enforce your rights to time-sharing, please contact us today so we can help you review your options. I hope this short video provided you with at least some guidance on how child support and time-sharing works here in Florida. Thank you again for joining me today, and as always: Stay informed so you can stay strong!

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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Divorce & Mediation Law Firm | Cabanas Law Firm
18503 Pines Blvd, Suite 301
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
(954) 447-2580


Sergio Cabanas, Esq. founded the Cabanas Law Firm in 2006 and provides Divorce and Family legal services, as well as Estate Planning, to ensure his clients have planned for their newly single life and are protected after their divorce. He began his career in law in 1992 as a prosecuting attorney at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, then continued his litigation track as an insurance defense attorney defending medical professionals against medical malpractice claims and expanded into disability and life insurance claims. Sergio is a Certified Mediator registered in the Supreme Court of Florida and a frequent speaker in the community about the importance of Estate Planning to keep families out of probate court and to prepare essential instructions in the event of disability or incapacity.