Raising a child separately from their other parent is rarely easy, even in ideal circumstances. Unfortunately, child custody and parental rights often cause large conflicts after divorce or separation, potentially harming the relationships of both parents with their child.
Many parents choose to test what the other parent and the courts will allow before pushing back. Some parents who push these boundaries find themselves losing privileges and potentially facing other legal consequences. If your child’s other parent does not respect your rights or chooses to violate your custody order, it is important to maintain healthy boundaries and keep your rights secure.
A strong legal strategy can help you identify clear violations and use the strength of the law to protect the time you spend with the child you love. You may find that you have more opportunities to enforce your rights in the custody order than you might expect.
Protecting the time you spend with your child
When one parent refuses to obey a custody order, they are violating a legally binding agreement issued by a court. This is known as parenting time interference. Both direct and indirect interference with the parent time of another is illegal.
While most parents make exceptions to their custody orders from time to time, it is not wise to establish a pattern. For the sake of your rights and the sake of your child, obey your custody order as closely as possible.
Of course, every parent experiences circumstances they cannot control occasionally, such as transportation difficulties, dangerous weather or serious illness. However, some parents do not take their custody order seriously and only obey it when it is convenient or in an attempt to make the other parent mad.
If your child’s other parent takes away your parenting time, this is a form of stealing. You can ask the court to require make-up days for missed parenting time. In some cases, the offending parent may also lose some parenting privileges.
Protecting the relationship with your child
It is also possible for one parent to violate another parent’s rights without preventing them from enjoying physical custody or visitation time with their child. Instead, one parent may manipulate the child against the other parent, or may obstruct the other parent’s communication with the child. This is known as indirect parenting time interference.
Many different behaviors qualify as indirect parenting time interference, such as:
- Refusing to give a child a gift from the other parent
- Preventing the other parent from communicating with the child over the phone or through messaging devices
- Speaking negatively about the other parent while the child is present
- Instructing the child to spy on the other parent
Your child’s other parent may engage in some or all of these behaviors, which are violations of your rights as a parent. Be sure to use the resources and legal guidance you need to identify any violations against your rights and prevent further abuses. After all, the time you have with your child is one of the most precious things you have, and you cannot recover it once it is gone.