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Sharing custody while protecting your rights as a parent

Choosing to live apart from the parent of your child is rarely an easy decision, whether it occurs through divorce or if you were never even formally in a relationship with the other parent. Finding the balance between sharing privileges and duties of parenting with another person while protecting one's own rights can be a difficult balance.

This is especially true when one parent does not respect the boundaries of the other parent's rights and attempts to exert control over the other parent's time with the child or their relationship to the child. If the behavior rises to the level of interfering with the parent's court ordered time with the child, then the court may step in.

If your child's other parent does not respect your parental rights, you should not always absorb the conflict and move on. Be sure to take special care assessing the specifics of your own circumstances to determine if you have grounds to take legal action. You may need to use the strength of the law to protect your rights and ensure that you have the proper time and opportunity to build and maintain a relationship with the child you love.

Direct interference

If a parent takes some course of action that deprives the other parent of time with a child, this may qualify as direct parenting time interference. Direct interference is particularly unfavorable in the eyes of the court, and extreme instances of direct interference may even result in criminal charges.

A court order establishing parenting time guidelines is not a casual suggestion that one parent or the other may choose to obey or not obey. Violating a custody order is a serious matter to the court, and a parent receiving this behavior should not tolerate it. This may include repeatedly canceling custody days or refusing to return a child after a visiting time, among other things.

Indirect interference

If your child's other parent does not keep you from spending time with the child, he or she may still interfere with your relationship, which is unacceptable. In general, courts do not allow parents to speak ill of each other in front of a child, or keep the child from communicating with the other parent, through the phone, online, or otherwise.

Should your child's other parent choose to interfere with your relationship or attempt to manipulate you and the child's interactions, then you should seriously consider the legal actions that you can take to protect yourself and your child from this unfair behavior.

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