For many people, the toughest part of a divorce is finding a child custody arrangement both parents are happy with. Between scheduling, traveling, and the emotional toll of splitting up, it is easy for resentment to grow. Parents might be tempted to keep their child away from their ex, whether as payback for missing support or because they don’t agree with the other parent’s choices for the child.
However, those actions can have serious legal consequences.
Keep reading to learn more about three common situations where parents can find themselves facing consequences for interference.
Withholding child support or visitation time
In some cases, a parent paying child support might become frustrated about not getting the amount of visitation they want. Or, if one parent falls behind on payments the other parent might wish to stop giving them visitation time. But, both approaches count as interference and have severe consequences.
Failing to pay child support can lead to suspension of driving privileges, wage garnishment, and other fines. Refusing court ordered visitation time violates the custody agreement.
Late pickups or drop-offs
Some custody arrangements lay out specific times for transferring the child from one parent to the other. If one parent is consistently late when dropping off or picking up the child – or if they don’t show up at all - they are interfering with the custody order.
In some cases, you can work out a new schedule between the two of you. If not, a judge can either enforce the current custody agreement or create a new one.
Ignoring calls or texts
When one parent prevents the other from communicating with their child, a court may view this indirect interference with parenting time. As hard as it may be, allowing your child to communicate with their other parent is part of respecting their visitation or custodial rights.