As many divorced parents can attest, maintaining a good relationship with your children can be challenging if you do not have physical custody. The fact is, the conditions of your child custody agreement may place limitations on how much time you can spend with your children. And of course meshing you schedule with the visitation schedule can also be very difficult.
But typically, all of these obstacles can be overcome and you can spend quality time with your children, provided that their other parent adheres to the custody agreement. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and sometimes one parent will actively work to undermine the other parent's visitation rights.
The term "gatekeeper parent" describes a parent who interferes or tries to sabotage the other parent's relationship with his or her children. Some of the behaviors in which a gatekeeper parent may engage include the following:
- Speaking about the other parent in a derogatory manner in front of the child.
- Refusing to be flexible when it comes to the visitation schedule.
- Interfering during the time the other parent is with the child.
- Not communicating with the other parent about matters that concern the child.
- Not telling the other parent about events in the child's life, such as school activities.
These are just a few of the things that a gatekeeper parent may do to marginalize the other parent's efforts to build and maintain a bond with his or her child. But perhaps most damaging is if the gatekeeper parent prevents the other parent from seeing the children.
You have the right to spend time with your child in accordance to your child custody agreement. If you are being denied that right, then you may wish to speak with a Texas family law attorney. The attorney may be able to help you get your visitation rights enforced so you and your child can be together.