A detailed, well-crafted parenting plan can help co-parenting go smoothly after divorce. Both parents and the kids know what the parenting time schedule is so that parents can arrange their lives accordingly, and kids have a sense of routine that’s crucial when they’re dividing their time between homes.
Having a parenting plan in place also allows parents to clearly identify when their ex isn’t adhering to the schedule, and if necessary, take action through the court. Any failure to adhere to the plan that isn’t necessitated by some type of unforeseen circumstance or emergency can be considered parenting time interference. It’s important for parents to recognize interference when it occurs. Some examples include:
- Not dropping a child off with the other parent at the scheduled time
- Not picking a child up from the parent they’re with at the scheduled time
- Canceling custody or visitation days
- Not letting a parent have the child on their designated days
- Preventing a parent from attending a child-related event, meeting or activity (including not informing them about it)
- Consistently failing to attend these events, meetings and activities
- Not letting a child see or speak to the other parent
- Saying derogatory things to or in front of a child about the other parent
- Taking a child outside of the designated area (for example, to another state) without permission
If you’re running into problems with parenting time interference, it’s important to track each instance. There are a number of co-parenting apps that make it easy to do this. You can also simply note the date and time of each instance and whatever explanation your co-parent gave you on a calendar or in a journal. This will help you if you end up having to go to court to try to remedy the situation.
Of course, it’s always best when co-parents can discuss the issue and resolve it on their own. However, if that doesn’t work, your attorney can help you take the necessary legal steps.
Whether your co-parent is preventing you from seeing or communicating with your child as you’re entitled to do or they aren’t living up to their end of the parenting time schedule, it’s in your children’s best interests to resolve the matter as soon as possible.