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Is your ex-spouse interfering with your rights as a parent?

As an Arizona parent, there is nothing more important than protecting the relationship you have with your child. Divorce can change how often you see your kids, so it is crucial that you have equitable access to your kids and the ability to maintain a strong relationship, even after the process is final. One way to do this is to seek a custody and visitation order that is fair and reasonable.

Even with a practical custody plan in place, the other parent can do things that could potentially undermine your role and the relationship you have with your kids. Through various types of interference and influence, your ex-spouse may carry out actions that compromise your rights and what your kids think about you. If this is happening, it is parenting time interference, and you do not have to stand for it. 

What is indirect interference?

Parenting time interference often happens in subtle ways, and you may not always be initially sure what is actually happening. Indirect interference is not always immediately apparent, but it can include behavior like refusing to allow your child to talk to you on the phone, preventing you from coming to your child's school activities and performing other small acts to disrupt your relationship. 

What is direct interference?

Direct interference happens when a parent is very blatant in his or her attempts to disrupt and negatively influence the child's relationship with the other parent. This happens when the other parent refuses to return the child, refuses to drop off the child and carries out other misconduct to keep you two apart.

This may be happening to you if the other parent keeps delaying drop off time or canceling visitation, despite what your custody and visitation outlines. This is not right, and if you are experiencing this type of unfair treatment, you can fight back by taking legal action.

What can you do next? 

If you are a victim of parenting time interference, you have options. First of all, you have the right to seek legal guidance regarding the appropriate course of action. Secondly, you can petition the court to compel the other parent to abide by the terms of the court order

In addition to having a court demand cooperation from the other parent, you may be able to seek makeup parenting time, have the court impose fines and seek compensation for your legal fees. You are entitled to a strong relationship with your kids, no matter what the other parent does.

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