California courts take parenting time seriously, as court-ordered parenting schedules are created in the best interests of the child. So, when one parent significantly hinders the parenting time of their spouse, the court may respond with severe consequences.
At the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks we can help you protect your visitation rights. If you are experiencing child visitation interference by your spouse, then contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
When Visitation Interference Is Direct
Sometimes visitation interference is obvious. For example, the custodial parent actively prevents their spouse from seeing the kids in one of the following ways:
- Leaving with the child out of state or the country without giving the other parent advanced notice
- Moving to a new address without giving the other parent the location
- Refusing normal visitation because the other parent is behind on support payments
- Cancelling visitation without any sufficient reason (such as an actual emergency)
- Simply refusing to adhere to the visitation schedule
When visitation interference is open and direct, gaining proper evidence of the interference is much easier.
When Visitation Interference Is Indirect
In most cases, however, visitation interference is often indirect or subtle in nature. That makes proving any interference much more challenging and harder to fight. However, with the right family law attorney, you can obtain the evidence you need to support your case. Here are some examples of when custodial parents engage in visitation interference that is indirect or more subtle:
- Intentionally failing to notify the other parent of extracurricular events so that it makes the other parent look as if they’re not interested in attending their child’s after school functions
- Preventing the child from speaking on the phone with the other parent
- Actively encouraging the child to refuse visitation with the other parent
- Bad mouthing the other parent to the child so that it makes the child afraid of the that parent
Consequences of Visitation Interference
The consequences of visitation interference depend on a number of different factors. For example, if it’s a first-time offense, and it doesn’t cross over into a criminal matter, then the court may just order make-up parenting time. However, for more serious offenses, the court can order a temporary or permanent change to primary custody. That could mean completely removing the child away from the care of the non-compliant parent.
Furthermore, the court can force the non-compliant parent to pay a fine. This fine can range from covering the other parent’s attorney fees to paying for the child’s counseling services. The court may even order the offending parent to participate in counseling sessions until a judge feels that the parent won’t engage in visitation interference again.
In more extreme cases of visitation interference, the court may charge the non-compliant parent under criminal law, such as with parental abduction. This is especially true if the court finds any intent to hide the child. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the non-compliant parent could face drastic fines and jail time. They would also lose custody all together.
Protect Your Child With the Help of a Fresno Family Law Attorney
Divorce is a stressful time for all parties involved. However, in many cases, children experience a great more deal of stress. When you add visitation interference on top of the divorce, it only complicates matters further. An experienced family law attorney knows how to communicate with families in a way that helps them understand the situation, as well as help them feel comfortable asking questions. Above all, our sole focus is ensuring your child’s best interests are met.
Learn More About Visitation Interference
At the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks, we place a great value on parenting time. If your ex is interfering with your parenting schedule, contact us as soon as possible. We will examine your case, help you obtain evidence of the interference, and effectively represent you in court if necessary.