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.
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.
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
When pursuing custody of their child, many parents utilize this psychological theorem as a portion of their case. This syndrome is known as a “disorder” in which a child revolts towards their parent because of the manipulating of the other parent.
Parental alienation syndrome is usually invoked when a mother claims that a father’s angry comments about the mother have “programmed” the child against her. This syndrome could severely damage the relationship between the parent and their child and, reported by some, can even give rise to false claims of abuse.
It’s important to know that the “disorder” is not recognized by the medical or psychological community and has also been panned on legal grounds. It is, nevertheless, usually brought up in combative divorce or custody proceedings and could impact custody arrangements.
When a Lawyer Can be of Assistance
A lawyer can assist you in drafting a parenting agreement that fulfills your requirements. For instance, many parents are including stipulations in their custody plans forbidding the insulting of the other parent in the presence of the child. Many parents are also including dispute resolution procedures into their agreements to avoid going back to court because of a disagreement.
Get Legal Help With Your Parenting Time Issues
Sometimes even a court-ordered parenting schedule can sometimes go wrong. Nevertheless, when it starts to occur regularly, it could be the case of parenting time interference. If this is occurring, there are a lot of options available, including heading back to court to pursue enforcement of its orders. Prior to doing so, you should get a hold of an experienced child custody attorney to address your case.
Parenting Time Interference. Findlaw. (2018, October 29). Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/paternity/parenting-time-interference.html.
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