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Protecting your parenting time with your child

As a parent who shares parenting responsibilities and privileges, you understand just how important it is to protect your parenting time. No matter what custody or visitation plan you have with your child's other parent, if the other parent obstructs the time that you have with the child, it is not only frustrating, it is potentially illegal. Parenting time interference is a serious problem that affects many parents throughout the country, many of whom do not realize that they may have legal actions they can take to protect this precious right.

Any time that one parent meaningfully interferes with the other parent's time with the child or ability to maintain and grow a relationship with the child, it may constitute parenting time interference. In some cases, parenting time interference is a punishable offense, and may result in the offending parent losing parenting privileges or even facing criminal charges, if the violation is severe enough.

Interference may be direct or indirect. Direct interference involves actions that physically keep the child and the other parent from spending time together. This may range from canceling visitation to kidnapping the child and taking him or her to another state. Indirect interference involves behavior by one parent to manipulate or control the parent's time and communication with the child. This may range from a parent refusing to put a child on the phone with the other parent or manipulating the child to spy on the other parent. It may even include speaking poorly of the other parent in front of the child.

If you experience these kinds of behavior from your child's other parent, you can speak with an experienced family law attorney to assess your rights and legal options. You may have grounds to take legal action to protect your rights and the rights of the child you love.

Source: FindLaw, "Parenting Time Interference," accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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