Get your new girlfriend / boyfriend involved with the pick-up or drop-off of your child(ren). Do you have a legal right to do so? Absent a court order, of course you do! Might this lead to an escalation of ill-will and unnecessary drama? You better believe it will. This is especially true when separation or divorce is relatively recent and feelings can be pretty raw. Exchanges between your old flame and new flame are not only ugly, but can lead your ex to file a request for modification of visitation and support.
Disparage your child’s parent in front of your child. Almost every court order contains a provision that you are not to discuss such things in front of your kiddo(s). When you are bad-mouthing your ex, your kiddo will take it personally. This information is almost always reported to the other parent which can land you back in court for violating the provision. Do me a favor, grab your phone, take a look at your child(ren) and remember that half of your child(ren)’s DNA comes from your ex before you tear your ex apart (even when they deserve it).
Tie visitation to child support! If your ex is not complying with a support order, do not withhold visitation. If your ex is not complying with a visitation order, do not withhold support. Call your attorney if your ex is not complying with a court order because you do not want to be found in contempt for failing to follow the court’s order. It is like your mom told you, two wrongs do not make a right.
Be rigid with changes to the court ordered schedule. Does your ex have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take your child to a family reunion on “your” weekend? Think about the benefit your child would receive and the possible good will you can gain by trading weekends. At the same time, make these changes in an email or text so there is no confusion.
Call the police when your ex is 5 minutes late dropping off. Give your ex a little grace. At the same time, do everything humanly possible to be on time when it is your turn. Do not give your ex a reason to call the police.
Make it difficult for your child to move possessions back and forth between your house and your ex’s house.
Make demands on your ex. Remember, this isn’t your job anymore!