After the dust settles from your divorce, it may take some time to adjust to sharing custody of your child. Many parents struggle to find healthy means of communication with their exes, even though they must work together to provide a good life for their child.
In some cases, one parent or the other may abuse the other parent's right, complicating their relationship with the child or depriving them of their court-ordered custody time. In many instances, this is parenting time interference, which courts don't take lightly. A parent who violates the other parent's rights may face a number of punishments, including loss of privileges and mandatory make-up days for lost custody time.
2 types of interference
In basic terms, parenting time interference comes in two forms, direct and indirect interference. When one parent physically deprives the other parent of their court-ordered custody time with the child, this qualifies as direct interference. In contrast, when one parent manipulates the child against the other parent or obstructs their communication, this is indirect interference.
Not all interference is intentional, but that is not really the core issue. One parent may accidentally forget to drop off a child to exchange custody, and we all make mistakes. However, whether it is an accident or intentional, it still deprives the other parent of court-ordered time with their child.
If you suspect that your child's other parent interferes with your custody or parenting privileges, you should consider the legal tools you can use to protect these rights.
Indirect interference is broad
In most cases, direct interference is simple to identify. However, it is not always easy to identify indirect interference. Indirect interference is a broad category that includes things like
- Refusing to allow the child to speak with the other parent on the phone
- Refusing to give a child gifts from the other parent
- Speaking negatively about the other parent in front of the child
- Asking the child to spy on the other parent
- Manipulating the child against the other parent
It is wise to consider these issues when making your parenting plan during divorce. Many parents facing divorce put language in their parenting agreement that strictly forbids this type of behavior, outlining the punishment one parent may receive if they violate the agreement.
Protect yourself now
A parent who gets away with parenting time interference is very likely to keep interfering. If you want to protect the time you have with your child, don't hesitate to get the court involved. A strong legal strategy can help you identify your options and keep your rights secure while you build a good life for the child you love.