Parenting Time Interference

Parenting Time Interference

In a perfect world, parenting matters would be resolved cordially between the parents, without the involvement of the relationship between parent and child. In a lot of cases, nevertheless, disagreements among parents can result in the interference of parenting time.

This interference happens when one parent proactively disrupts the other parents appointed time with their child. In many cases this could be deemed as a criminal and/or civil offense.

What Comes Down to Parenting Time Interference?

When two parents divide custody of their child, they are going to usually devise a parenting time agreement, visitation agreement, and/or other deal ruling each parent’s right to time with the child. These deals can be informal but having them endorsed by a court is going to assist you enforcing your rights under the plan. This interference happens when one parent’s court-ordered parental time is declined or hindered, either directly or indirectly.

Direct Interference

Interference of parenting time could take a lot of forms. In the more extreme situations, one parent may physically hinder a child from seeing the other parent by taking the child devoid of approval, declining to return the child, or moving the child to a different state violating a court order. Direct interference may also comprise of failing to drop a child off at a planned time or calling off visitation days.

When a parent has fallen on the wayside concerning child support payments, the other parent may attempt to hinder them from seeing their child. This, too, would be deemed as parenting time interference. In just about every state, a parent can’t deny the other’s parental time due to missed child support payments.

Indirect Interference

One parent’s time could also be interfered with in indirect ways. For instance, a parent might meddle with the other’s parents’ rights by obstructing communications between parent and child. Declining to let the child to take phone calls from a parent usually establishes unacceptable interference. Likewise, hindering a parent from being involved in a child’s school and/or extracurricular activities could be deemed as interference.

Insulting the other parent, asking the child to describe or “spy” on the parent’s personal life, or trying to make the child decline to see its other parent all can be deemed as interference. To hinder this, and to keep their children out of parent conflicts, many parents could include a stipulation in their custody agreements declaring that one parent may not insult the other in the presence of the child.

Parenting Time Interference Remedies

When one parent is in violation of another’s court-ordered parenting time, a court can suggest just about any solution that it deems to be fair and suitable. Normal remedies comprise of:

  • Decreeing “make-up” parenting time
  • Ordering the offensive parent pay for education and therapy
  • Imposing fines, court costs and lawyer’s fees on the misconducting parent
  • Briefly or permanently modifying the parenting time order

For more extreme interferences, a court could also order the arrest and incarceration of the parent that is interfering. If a parent is in violation of court-ordered custody and/or visitational rights, they could be found in contempt of court, which can lead to jail time. A lot of states also comprise of interference with parental rights in their criminal statutes. In California, Texas, and New York, for instance, interference with custody could lead to being charged with a felony.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

Many parents use parental alienation syndrome in custody battles, where a child turns against one parent due to manipulation. This syndrome is controversial and not recognized by the medical or psychological community. Despite legal criticism, it’s often raised in contentious divorce or custody cases, influencing custody decisions.

When a Lawyer Can be of Assistance

An attorney can assist in creating a personalized parenting agreement, incorporating rules against insulting the other parent in the child’s presence. Some parents also incorporate dispute resolution methods to prevent court disputes.

Get Legal Help With Your Parenting Time Issues

Parenting schedules ordered by the court may go awry, indicating potential parenting time interference. If this happens regularly, seek legal advice.


  1. Parenting Time Interference. Findlaw. (2018, October 29). Retrieved November 2, 2021, from

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