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Child custody: What qualifies as parenting time interference?

23940584_s (1).jpgAt one time in our nation, family courts were much less progressive. In some cases, these courts may have failed to recognize the many benefits a child receives when he or she has a relationship with both parents. The legal approach to child-related matters has changed a lot over the years. In these more contemporary times, Missouri courts support and advocate for quality parenting time regardless of who has primary child custody.

Interfering with a co-parent's court-ordered right to spend time with a child can have significant consequences. Examples of such consequences include the following.

  • The interfering parent may have to allow make-up visitation time for the other parent
  • The interfering parent may have to pay fines and other legal expenses
  • The interfering parent may be ordered to seek counseling or education at his or her expense
  • The interfering parent may lose some of his or her child custody rights

Many actions can qualify as interference with parenting time. Some of these actions include:

  • Direct interference: Physically preventing a child from being with the co-parent
  • Direct interference: Unlawfully moving with the child to a different state
  • Direct interference: Canceling prearranged visitation times and failing to bring the child to the other parent
  • Indirect interference: Preventing the child from communicating with the other parent
  • Indirect interference: Blocking the co-parent from attending the child's school functions
  • Indirect interference: Trying to turn the child against his or her other parent

If you are thinking about interfering with your co-parent's visitation time because you fear for the child's safety, ask an attorney for guidance. Often, it is possible to find a legal solution, which can keep you out of trouble while imposing the least emotional hardships on your child.

If you are a victim of interference, it is also smart to consult with an attorney. With guidance, you can ask the court to modify your existing orders to allow you to see your child without interference from your co-parent.

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