WHAT QUALIFIES AS PARENTING TIME INTERFERENCE?
Many parents who raise a child separately face conflict and act out in frustrating ways, but some truly cross the line into unacceptable behavior that violates the other parent’s legal rights. Commonly, this behavior includes obstructing the other parent’s court-ordered physical custody or visitation privileges, legally referred to as parental time interference.
One parent may interfere with the other’s privileges either directly or indirectly, and both kinds of interference may produce consequences in court. Direct interference occurs if one parent physically prevents the other from spending time with the child, including behavior like canceling custody days or visitation or taking the child to another state.
In many cases, a parent with primary custody may withhold visitation because the other parent falls behind on child support. It is important to understand each parent’s rights to the time with child are in no way tied to his or her consistency in providing child support. A parent who chooses to to withhold visitation because of unpaid child support may face legal consequences and lose privileges themselves.
Indirect interference may occur if one parent obstructs the other parent’s communication with the child. Common versions of this might include keeping a parent off the phone with the child or even speaking poorly of the other parent in front of the child. To avoid this behavior, many parents choose to include language in their parenting agreement that explicitly forbids disparaging each other to the child or in front of him or her.
If your child’s other parent interferes your parenting time, you have the right to fight against that interference. An experienced attorney can help you examine the legal issues at hand and determine how to keep your rights protected as you work to give the best life you can to the child you love.
Source: FindLaw, “Parenting Time Interference,” accessed Jan. 31, 2018