Trying to Sabotage Your Ex-Spouse’s Efforts at Co-Parenting Doesn’t Pay
Many former couples get along much better as divorced co-parents of their children than they ever did when they were married with each other. If your relationship with your ex-spouse improved after your divorce became final, you are one of the lucky ones. Some people have an even more acrimonious relationship because of post-divorce conflict over their children than they did before they got divorced. The Tennessee parenting plan that a court orders for each divorcing couple with minor children aims to minimize these conflicts, but some cases are more difficult than others. If it seems like your ex is putting up obstacles to implementing the terms of your parenting plan, it is probably not just your imagination. A Tennessee child custody lawyer can help you modify your parenting plan or get the court’s support in implementing your current parenting plan.
Details of the Scot Case
When Todd and Erin Scot divorced in 2013, their son was nine years old, and their daughter was six. The following year, Erin and the children moved from Franklin, Tennessee to Fairview, despite Todd’s attempts to prevent the move. After the move to Fairview, Erin began dating a police officer named Jamie Ferrell, and she and the children moved in with them in 2015. Both parents admitted that they had never had an easy co-parenting relationship, but after Erin moved in with Ferrell, Todd began harassing them relentlessly, including the following actions:
- Running background checks on Ferrell, including requesting his personnel file from the Fairview Police Department
- Sending registered mail to the couple’s residence just to check whether Erin or Ferrell was the one signing for it
- Making social media posts containing details about his and Erin’s custody battle and insulting comments about Ferrell
- Contacting Ferrell’s ex-wife to tell her private details about Erin’s medical history
- Requesting, on several occasions, for the court to hold Erin in criminal contempt
As a result of this harassment, the court was persuaded that it was impossible for Erin and Todd to make parenting decisions jointly. It also issued an injunction prohibiting Todd to do any of the following:
- Make audio or video recordings of the children
- Post about Ferrell on social media
- Get out of his vehicle when picking up the children from Erin’s house
- Sign the children up for extracurricular activities
Todd appealed the court’s decision, arguing that the injunction was unenforceable because it was too vague. The appeals court sided with him and vacated all the terms of the injunction except the part about getting out of his vehicle when picking up the children. It disagreed with the trial court that Todd’s previous efforts to modify the parenting plan were frivolous. It upheld the trial court’s decision to give Erin sole decision-making authority about the children.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
Your former spouse does not have the right to harass you just because you have found a new partner, even if you have minor children together. Contact Knoxville child custody attorney Patrick L. Looper for a consultation.