When people with children are going through a divorce, they hope and likely anticipate that they will be able to co-parent amicably with their spouse. Sometimes, they choose not to put too many details and rules in the custody agreement, assuming that they’ll work things out as they come along.
However, sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a parent will not honor the arrangement that’s been agreed to, whether formally or informally. That’s called “parenting time interference.” It can seriously disrupt the other parent’s life and schedule. More importantly, it can bring added stress and insecurity to the children caught in the middle of their parents’ conflict.
New York Parental Interference
There are two types of interference: indirect and direct. Indirect interference often involves preventing communication between the other parent and the children, such as not allowing a child to talk to their parent on the phone or email them. It can also include failing to notify the other parent of school or other events.
Direct interference is more serious. Sometimes a parent will take a child without the other parent’s permission or refuse to allow that parent to see the child. They may fail to deliver the child for visitation or custody time as scheduled.
It’s important to know that even if a parent is not paying the ordered child support or is behind in payments, you can’t prevent that parent from seeing the child in retaliation. There are actions you can take if you’re not receiving your child support, but interfering with custody and visitation aren’t among them. This only harms your child’s relationship with his or her parent and can put you in contempt of court.
Contact a Family Law Attorney in New York
If your co-parent is interfering with your parenting time and you can’t work out the problem out with him or her, you should contact your family law attorney. He or she can advise you on your legal options. Amendments to the parenting plan may also be in order to stipulate more stringent rules. This can help you take legal action against your ex if the interference continues.
Source: FindLaw, “Parenting Time Interference,” accessed June 24, 2016.