When parents divorce, it is rarely easy to pick up the pieces and move forward, especially when they share custody of a child. Far too often, parents use this division of time with their child as a way to punish each other, which courts do not view kindly.
If a court observes that one parent violates the custody rights of the other parent, the offending party may suffer serious punishment and may even face criminal charges. If you suspect that you are the victim of parenting time interference, now is the time to assess your circumstances through the eyes of the law and take steps to protect your rights. Your child deserves to spend quality time with you according to your order, and should not be a pawn in a game of parental punishment.
Understanding direct interference
Depending on the motivations and determination of the offending parent, parenting time interference may take many forms. If the interference physically prevents you from spending your court-ordered custody time with your child, then it is considered direct interference.
Direct interference can occur even if it is negligent rather than intentional. For instance, if your child's other parent regularly forgets to meet you for custody exchange or constantly shows up late, this may qualify as interference. Even though you cannot definitively prove that these instances are intentional, it is simple to demonstrate that they steal away your time with your child, which a court takes seriously.
Indirect forms of interference
A parent may also interfere without costing the other parent any of their physical time with their child. When one parent's actions cast the other parent in a negative light, or if one parent obstructs the other's ability to communicate with their child, this may count as indirect interference.
Parents are not allowed to speak negatively about each other in the presence of their child, and they must not keep the other parent from communicating clearly with their child. Any actions that complicate communication between parent and child qualify as indirect interference.
Some parents believe that they can easily get away with this form of interference, and may pay for it dearly with lost parenting privileges.
Protect your time with the child you love
If you have any reason to believe that your child's other parent is undermining your relationship with your child or preventing you from enjoying your custody time, you must examine your legal options. A well-built legal strategy can help you assess your options and use all the legal tools at your disposal to strengthen your relationship with the child you love and keep your rights secure.