One of the most difficult things about coparenting a child after divorce or separation is respecting the other parent's rights to time with the child while keeping your own parenting rights secure. If you have a custody order, it outlines how you and your child's other parent agree to share parenting time and responsibilities, and courts expect parents to obey this order, not take it as a suggestion.
Unfortunately, many parents seem to think that their time with their child is more important than the other parent's time, or that they simply do not have to obey their custody order if it is inconvenient. Violating another parent's rights can lead to loss of parenting privileges, mandatory make-up days for missed parenting time, and even criminal charges in extreme cases. If you believe that your child's other parent violated your parenting time rights, you may have legal tools you can use to protect your rights and your relationship with the child you love.
Missed time with your child
If your child's other parent disrespects your parenting time rights and you do not receive physical custody or visitation with your child when it is outlined in your custody agreement, this may count as direct parenting time interference. Of course, some disruptions are common, and keeping minute score of when the other parent drops off your child several minutes late may only strain your coparenting relationship further. However, repeated violations or violations that take away significant amounts of time should not go overlooked.
Courts take these violations seriously, and the violating parent may suffer significant consequences. Some extreme cases of parenting time interference amount to kidnapping, which can result in serious jail time.
Interfering with your parent-child relationship
Even if your child's other parent does not stream your time, they may still interfere with your parent-child relationship through manipulation or through obstructing communication with the child. These violations qualify as indirect parenting time interference.
Indirect interference may include:
- Refusing to allow the other parent to communicate with the child on the phone or through mobile devices
- Refusing to give the child gifts from the other parent
- Speaking negatively about the other parent in the presence of the child
- Telling the child to spy on the other parent during their custody time
These violations are just as real as stealing parenting time. Do not overlook them or let them pass by, which can set a bad precedent as you work together to raise your child.
Protect your child's future
By protecting your rights as a parent, you also benefit your child by making them a priority. Over time, establishing and defending your boundaries with the other parent gives your child the structure and stability they need to grow. With strong legal tools, you can help keep your rights and your child's interest safe, allowing you to focus on giving them the best life that you can.