Custodial parents have a lot of power over their child’s access to the outside world. While this can certainly be beneficial, it can also be harmful when those restrictions are forced upon the non-custodial parent. Yet, time and again, custodial parents take their gatekeeping role too far, thereby causing damage to the relationship between their child and their child’s non-custodial parent.
How excessive use of parental gatekeeping occurs
Excessive use of the gatekeeping role can take many forms. For example, a custodial parent might simply disallow a non-custodial parent from having contact with his or her child. The custodial parent might also fail to pass messages along to the child, thereby giving the child a false perception that the non-custodial parent doesn’t care about the child.
But the gatekeeping function doesn’t end there. Some custodial parents refuse to share information about the child’s extracurricular activities and medical appointments. Some non-custodial parents are even left in the dark when it comes to a child’s serious medical condition.
What you can do to protect your child and your relationship with him or her
There’s a lot at stake when you’re facing an overzealous custodial parent. But you can diligently work to gather evidence that shows how his or her actions are harmful to your child. Make sure that you’re retaining all communications with the custodial parent and try to contextualize how the custodial parent’s actions are affecting your child and your relationship with him or her. This may mean painting a picture of how your interactions with the child have changed and even taking testimony from a therapist who can talk about how your child’s lack of access to you has caused him or her harm.
Filing for modification
Once you feel like you have the evidence you need to show that excessive gatekeeping is hurting your child, then you can pursue a child custody modification. This isn’t an easy process, though, so you’ll want to make sure that you understand the law and how to argue it in your favor in court. Hopefully then you can obtain the outcome that is necessary to protect your child and preserve your relationship with him or her.