When parents in Dallas divorce, the split is not always amicable. Rancor and bitterness may continue well after the divorce decree has been signed. Sometimes, these feelings can cause issues where one parent is wrongfully denied visitation with their child by the other parent. This may happen if the other parent feels the parenting time order is unfair or if the parent being denied visitation has fallen behind on their child support obligations. No matter what the reason, however, a parent being denied visitation has rights.
Parenting time interference can be direct or indirect. Direct interference means a parent physically keeps the child away from the other parent without the other parent’s consent, refuses to return the child when their parenting time is up or absconds to another state with the child in violation of the divorce decree.
Indirect interference with parenting time may be subtler, but it can still be damaging. For example, a parent might refuse to allow the child to contact the other parent. Or, a parent could stop the other parent from attending events in the child’s life, such as school events or extracurricular activities. Another form of indirect interference takes place when one parent has the child spy on the other parent or encourages the child to refuse to spend time with the other parent.
However, interfering with parenting time has consequences. A court could provide the harmed parent with make-up visitation periods. The offending parent may be ordered to pay for any counseling and education. The offending parent may be fined and ordered to pay court costs and attorney’s fees. In addition, the child custody and visitation order could be temporarily or permanently modified.
What penalties or changes will be ordered in situations where one parent is wrongfully denied visitation depends on the facts of the case. Those who want more information on father’s rights and visitation should seek professional guidance.