Addressing divorce and parents interfering with parenting time

|December 28, 2020 | family law

When Pennsylvania couples divorce, child custody and parenting time can be a challenge. In many cases, they work together for the good of the children. In others, there is disagreement, and problems such as parenting time interference will crop up.

Direct and indirect parenting time interference

Parents might obstruct the other parent’s access to the child. Direct interference can range from minor acts that make it harder for the other parent to have the required time with the child, or it can escalate to drastic behavior. Examples of direct interference are relocating without permission, not returning the child at the required time or canceling visitation without reason. Parents might do this for various reasons, including punishment for failing to pay child support or as a vengeful act due to problems stemming from the failed marriage.

Indirect interference is less overt. Perhaps the parent will inhibit the other parent’s attempts to communicate with the child. Not allowing phone calls can be considered indirect interference and a violation of the other parent’s rights. It is also possible that a failure to give information about extracurricular activities or events that the other parent may want to attend will fall into this category. Negative comments to the child or requests that the child take part in watching and reporting what the other parent is doing are forms of indirect interference.

Strategies to address parenting time interference

Remedies to address parenting time interference include make-up parenting time to account for what was lost, the other parent being ordered to pay for counseling and education regarding parenting time, fines and legal fees paid by the offending parent, and a temporary or permanent change to the parenting order. There can even be an arrest if the behavior is excessive. This can have a negative impact on the child, and parents who are dealing with parenting time interference should be aware of their rights. A consultation with a legal professional who is experienced in divorce, child custody, visitation and other aspects of family law may be helpful.

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