Interfering with a person's parenting time can become a serious issue among divorced or separated parents. Disagreements between parents should be worked out between them, but when they aren't, then parenting time interference can result as one parent attempts to keep a child from the other.
When a parent actively tries to prevent the other parent from seeing his or her children, that's an offense that the courts will not tolerate. It can be tried as a criminal offense or taken to court as a civil offense.
What counts as interference?
There's always a time when a child won't be able to see a parent due to illness or sudden events that come up. Usually, those times aren't an issue. It's when a parent physically tries to prevent a child from seeing his or her other parent or refuses to return the child that there is a problem. Direct interference is anything from refusing to return a child to the parent's home to canceling visits with his or her father for no reason other than a disagreement. This is in violation of a court order.
Indirect interference is another kind of problem that takes place when a parent tries to disrupt communication between a child and his or her other parent. For instance, if you want to be part of your child's school activities and the other parent prevents you from doing so, then that could be seen as interference by the courts. You could have a case against the offending parent.
Are there remedies for this behavior?
Some remedies may include fines or court costs charged to the offending parent. Ordering more visitation for the parent who has been missing it may be possible. The offending parent may also have to pay for counseling and education to prevent this from happening again. As a father, you have rights, and this kind of behavior isn't acceptable. Our website has more information on seeking custody, visitation and other arrangements.