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Understanding parenting time interference

Parents sharing custody or visitation rights almost always run into some conflicts from time to time, which is to be expected. Sometimes, however, the actions of one parent may violate the rights of the other parent to spend time with the child or develop a relationship. When one parent obstructs the parenting time or relationship of the other parent, it may constitute parent time interference, which can result in the loss of parenting privileges or even criminal charges in some extreme instances.

Interference may occur either directly or indirectly. Direct interference occurs when one parent prevents the other from physically spending time with the child. This may range from neglecting a visitation or custody schedule to physically taking the child to another state or refusing to return a child after spending custody time together.

Indirect custody occurs whenever one parent attempts to obstruct the communication the other parent enjoys with the child, or possibly manipulate the child's relationship with the other parent. Indirect interference may occur any time that a parent refuses to pass along notes or gifts to the child, or obstruct his or her communication in other ways, like refusing to give the phone to the child if the other parent calls to speak with him or her. Indirect interference may also occur when a parent speaks poorly of the other parent to the child or in the child's presence.

If you believe your spouse interferes with your parenting time, you should consider all the legal options you have carefully. An experienced attorney can help you examine your ex's behavior and determine a strong strategy to protect your rights and the rights of your child.

Source: FindLaw, "Parenting Time Interference," accessed Feb. 02, 2018

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