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What happens if a parent breaks the parenting plan?

 Posted on June 22, 2018 in Child Custody

The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

After you do the hard work of putting together a parenting plan with your child's other parent, you may face a number of complications when it comes to putting the plan into practice. Some of these may be logistical hurdles, while others are complications brought on by the other parent refusing to properly abide by the guidelines of the parenting plan. 

Should the other parent choose to disobey the parenting plan, you may have legal grounds to enforce the terms and protect your rights and privileges as a parent. Depending on the specifics of the circumstances, the other parent may be engaging in parenting time interference, which the courts tend to take very seriously. 

What is direct interference?

Direct parenting time interference occurs when one parent's actions -- or lack of action -- deprives the other parent of the time he or she is entitled to per the parenting plan. This can happen in a number of ways, including not meeting up to drop off the child with the other parent.

In an extreme case, a parent may also simply refuse to return a child after visitation, or may choose to withhold visitation altogether. These types of situations can take a situation from civil to criminal. 

Indirect interference

Indirect parenting time interference is typically when a parent attempts to manipulate or obstruct the other parent's time with the child or the relationship they enjoy with the child. If, for instance, you call your child to speak on the phone and the other parent will not allow him or her to do so, then this qualifies as indirect interference.

Courts also consider speaking poorly of the other parent in the child's presence a form of indirect interference. If you suspect that the other parent does this, it is wise to address it fully, rather than put up with it. Courts do not take kindly to this behavior.

Should you face some form of parenting time interference, it is wise to consider all the legal tools you may have to deal with the issue, and to not hesitate to get the court involved. Interference with parenting time is a serious offense and you have every right to defend your legal rights as a parent. 

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