New Jersey parents who are sharing custody of their children will sometimes come into conflict over their parenting time agreement. While some conflicts are to be expected, when a pattern develops of direct or indirect interference happening, it must be addressed and corrected.
Direct versus indirect parenting time interference
Parenting time interference happens when one parent prevents the relationship between the child and the other parent from continuing to develop. It can take a variety of forms and happen either directly, such as when a parent prevents a child from actually seeing their other parent, or indirectly, such as when a parent works toward. harming the relationship between the child and the other parent. Parenting time interference includes:
- Canceling visitation with the other parent
- Moving the child out of state to prevent them from seeing the other parent
- Preventing the other parent from participating in school and extracurricular events
- Speaking badly about the other parent to the child
- Denying private communication between the child and the other parent
Options to deal with parenting time interference
When a parenting plan is approved by the court, the court is able to sanction a parent who interferes in the parenting time of the other parent. This can include changing the child custody agreement altogether. In some cases and states, criminal charges might result from extreme interference. However, one way to avoid returning to court is by having the original parenting plan include provisions on how to address and resolve parenting time interference.
In most cases, it is in the best interest of the child to continue a healthy relationship with both parents despite the issues that might still prevent parents from getting along. A detailed parenting plan approved by the court may be a way to prevent complications from challenges that might arise later. A family law attorney may help parents understand what provisions to include in their plan.