What does the court consider parental interference?

Divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. It doesn’t get any easier when children are involved. In this case, parents must work out a parenting plan that takes into account the best interests of the child.

When a parenting plan is adopted by the court, it becomes a custody order. Subsequently, both parties are expected to honor it. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one or both parents to disregard an existing custody order. If this happens, the guilty party might face certain consequences. But first, what exactly is parenting interference and how does it happen?

Basically, any action that prevents your ex from seeing the child is considered parental interference. This can be direct or indirect.

Direct parenting time interference

This happens when one parent intentionally prevents the other from enjoying their court-approved time with the child. An example would be when the offending parent moves to another city or state with the child without prior communication. Other examples can include:

  • Routinely forgetting to drop the child off for visitation
  • Coming up with activities that conflict with the visitation hours

Simply put, any activity that willfully keeps the other parent from being involved in the child’s day-to-day affairs amounts to direct interference.

Indirect interference

Indirect interference happens when one parent obstructs the other from communicating with the child. This could take the form of keeping the child from making phone calls with the other parent or badmouthing them in the child’s presence.

What can you do if your ex is interfering with your parenting rights?

Parenting interference is a big deal. Amidst your anger and frustration, however, do not take matters into your own hands. For instance, if you are paying child support, do not withhold it. This could land you in trouble with the court. Instead, gather your evidence and take the matter to court.

Child custody and visitation can be a difficult subject during and after divorce. Find out how proper legal guidance can help you safeguard your rights and interests while handling the subject of custody and visitation.