Making the transition to co-parenting with your child’s other parent is never easy, even in ideal circumstances. Of course, ideal circumstances are rare, and ordering life around your new custody schedule takes effort.

For some parents, obeying a custody order seems more like a strong suggestion than a legal requirement, and they may think it is best to simply share custody the way they wish to, rather than follow the schedule handed down by a court.

If your child’s other parent does not obey your custody order, it is a serious violation of a legally binding document. Courts may respond by stripping them of parenting privileges, ordering make-up days for lost parenting time or placing them in contempt of court.

Don’t ignore parenting time interference

When one parent’s actions or negligence prevent the other parent from spending court-ordered time with their child, or undermines the relationship of that parent with their child, courts consider this parenting time interference. This violation may take two forms, either direct interference or indirect interference.

Direct interference occurs when one parent physically stops the other from enjoying their court-ordered custody or visitation time. This does not have to involve outright parental kidnapping, although that is one of its extreme forms. It may be as simple as a parent repeatedly failing to show up on time to swap custody of the child, or canceling visitation days.

Indirect interference occurs when a parent blocks the other parent’s communication with the child or tries to manipulate or tear down the other parent’s relationship with the child.

If a child’s other parent won’t allow them to talk to the other parent on the phone, this may qualify as indirect interference. Speaking poorly about the other parent in front of the child or encouraging the child to spy on the other parent and report back is tantamount to indirect interference, too. This kind of behavior is unacceptable to courts and can result in serious punishment.

Protecting your parenting rights with the strength of the law

If a custody order truly does not fit the needs of one or both parents, it is possible to modify the order to something more manageable. This is a better way to resolve a custody conflict than simply working around it under the table. A proper modification through the courts acknowledges that the first custody order is not a good fit. It allows parents to obtain the relief they need while keeping the process above board.

Unfortunately, some parents simply do not understand the importance of obeying a custody order and respecting the other parent’s rights. If you face difficulty dealing with the poor behavior of your child’s other parent, do not hesitate use a strong legal strategy to protect the best interests of your family.