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What can a parent do if the other interferes with parenting time?

One of the most important rights that a parent has is to have access to his or her children after a divorce. Custody is often one of the most complex and emotionally challenging issues for parents to navigate when ending a marriage, and one parent may be particularly angry over the final order. He or she may then refuse to adhere to it, interfering with the time the other parent should have with the kids.

There are different ways parenting time interference can happen. It can be direct and overt, or it can be indirect and subtle. Regardless, a parent who believes that he or she is experiencing a violation of parental rights has the right to speak out and seek a positive resolution to his or her concerns. If you suspect it is happening to you, you do not have to stay silent.

What is direct interference?

Direct interference includes blatant attempts to interfere with your time with your kids. This might include preventing you from seeing your child, refusing to return your child after visitation or moving with your child without permission to another city or state. It also includes any blatant refusal to abide by the terms of a custody order.

What is indirect interference?

This type of interference can include things like keeping you from communicating with your child and refusing to inform you about important events in the life of your child, such as a school play. It may also include attempts to ruin your relationship with your kids by talking negatively about you or spying on you to report back to the other parent. If there are any attempts to undermine how your child thinks about you, it could be indirect interference.

What can you do?

If you think interference is happening, it is important to take quick action to protect your parental rights. Speaking with a New Jersey family law attorney can be a practical place to begin the process of fighting for a reasonable remedy to your concerns.

A court may order remedies such as additional visitation time, adjustment of your custody plan, mandatory attendance in counseling for the offending parent, imposing fines or mandating other penalties for the offending parent. An assessment of your case can help you understand what you can do to protect the relationship you have with your kids.