Strategies to Enforce Parenting Time Rights
Enforcing Your Parenting Time Rights
Statistics indicate that approximately 50% of American children will witness a marital breakup, and issues involving children tend to be some of the most common and emotionally challenging matters that arise following a divorce. Perhaps you’re a divorced parent who does not have primary child custody and you’ve encountered difficulty and obstruction when trying to spend time with your kids. If that is the situation you face, you need to understand how to enforce your parenting time rights.
Examples of Parenting Time Interference
There are a number of common ways in which a custodial parent may interfere with the noncustodial parent’s parenting time. These include:
- Failure to make the child available for visitation in a punctual manner
- Changing scheduled parenting times without good cause or sufficient notice
- Picking up the child prematurely during the noncustodial parent’s scheduled time period
- Interfering during the course of the other parent’s time with the child (for example, by making excessive phone calls to the child)
Bear in mind that every situation is unique. While these are some common examples of how a parenting time order can be violated, circumstances vary from one family to another, and some latitude is to be expected. However, when that latitude is abused and the precious intervals spent with the child by the noncustodial parent are disrespected or worse, parenting time rights are being violated.
Keep a Journal Detailing Instances of Parenting Time Interference
If you are encountering problems in spending time with your child, some preparation is recommended before taking formal steps to enforce a parenting time order. You need to make sure you can document instances in which an existing visitation decree has been violated by your former spouse. A key way in which you can prepare to protect and enforce your parenting time rights is to create a journal detailing when and how the other parent is interfering with those rights.
Make a journal entry contemporaneously with any occurrence of interference by the other parent. The record of a violation of an existing parenting order need not be overly detailed. A typical instance of interference can usually be summarized in a couple of sentences.
Parenting Time Rights
There really are two types of rights at play when it comes to a situation in which a custodial parent interferes with an existing parenting time order. First, your own rights mandate that you are not to be relegated to the status of a mere visitor in the life of your child. You’re entitled to have regular and sufficient parenting time so that you can develop and maintain a meaningful relationship with your offspring.
Second, the rights and interests of children demand that suitable parenting time be established and maintained. Their best interests are not served if the custodial parent interferes with a parenting time order.
Motion to Enforce Parenting Time
Enforcement of an existing parenting time order is undertaken by filing a motion with the court that issued the initial visitation decree. A motion to enforce visitation delineates the manner in which the custodial spouse has violated a visitation order.
Once a motion is filed with the court, the custodial spouse has an opportunity to respond to it. After that occurs, the court schedules the matter for a hearing about the claimed violation or violations. Because of the complexity associated with enforcing a parenting time order, anyone dealing with visitation interference is best served by engaging an experienced divorce lawyer.
A Competent Bergen County Divorce Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
If your former spouse is interfering with your parenting time rights, contact a skilled Bergen County divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Kelly Berton Rocco by calling us in Hackensack, NJ, at (201) 343-0078. We’ll schedule a consultation at a time that’s convenient for you. There is no charge for an initial case evaluation with a member of our committed legal team. We can take the necessary steps to protect and enforce your parenting time rights.