One of the most difficult conflicts many parents face after divorce is understanding and respecting each other’s parenting rights. It is natural for many parents to want their child entirely to themselves or to push boundaries to control which parent sets the tone for how to raise the child. While these tensions are easy to understand, they often cause one parent to act in ways that are not productive for the family and violate the other parent’s rights in Florida.
Depending on how much one parent obstructs the rights of the other, this behavior may qualify as parenting time interference. Courts that oversee divorce and custody issues do not look favorably on a parent who interferes with the rights of the other parent, and may remedy this situation by removing parental privileges, ordering mandatory make-up time for missed custody or visitation, or may even serve a parent with criminal charges.
If your own experience with your child’s other parent involves parenting time interference, you may want to use the law and the courts to protect your rights. A strong legal strategy and documentation of unacceptable behavior help keep your rights secure, and allow you to focus on building and maintaining a relationship with the child you love.
Whenever one parent’s behavior causes the other parent to miss their court-ordered parenting time with their child, this generally qualifies as direct parenting time interference. Of course, sometimes these things are unavoidable because of unpleasant surprises like illness or transportation difficulties. If your child’s other parent generally respects your time and parenting choices but has car trouble on a day when you should take custody of your child or have scheduled visitation, it is frustrating but probably does not justify taking legal action.
However, if the other parent repeatedly keeps you from enjoying your parenting time, or is constantly late or unavailable to exchange custody, you may want to review your legal options.
Preventing another parent from spending their court-ordered time with their child is not the only way one parent may interfere with the other. Courts also recognize indirect interference, which includes obstructing communication between a parent and child and undermining the authority of the other parent to the child.
Courts may get involved if one parent does not allow the other speak to their child over the phone or through messages, or if a parent instructs their child to spy on the other parent during their parenting time. It is also worth noting that parents are not typically allowed to speak negatively about each other in the presence of the child, which undermines the parent-child relationship.
Protecting your rights is one of the most important parts of your job as a parent. If you believe that your child’s other parent violates your parenting rights, do not let this pattern of behavior continue. With proper legal action, your rights remain secure and you have time and energy to focus on raising your child as you see fit.