The time that you spend with your child is irreplaceable, and every day that you do not spend with them is a day that you cannot recover. For this reason alone, it is always important for a parent to protect all the time with their child that a custody order outlines.
In practice, there are almost always complications. Coordinating the rearing of a child with their other parent is difficult enough when the entire family lives under one roof, but when parents split up and rear the child separately, these complications often multiply. When you think about protecting your parenting time, it is important to differentiate actions or behavior by your child's other parent that steals away time with your child from the unavoidable complications that everyone experiences from time to time.
Direct interference robs you of physical custody
When one parent's behavior denies the other parent their rightful time with their child, this can be considered an example of direct interference. Each parent must respect that the other parent has rights to time with the child, and the law typically sees these rights as equal. When one parent does not exchange custody when they should, or worse, refuses to let the other parent see the child(ren), courts may take serious action against the offending parent.
Direct interference is a broad category of behavior that may include simply running late in a regular pattern or something as serious as parental kidnapping.
Indirect interference obstructs the parent-child relationship
Courts understand that parents may undermine each other and attempt to manipulate their respective relationships with their child, which is also unacceptable behavior. It is no wonder that parents who choose to raise a child separately often do not approve of the way that the other parent raises the child, or may want to use custody to punish the other parent.
We are all entitled to our opinions, but not entitled to use a child to exact harm on another parent. This behavior is indirect interference, and can occur any time a parent undermines the other parent's relationship with the child or obstructs their communication.
If your child's other parent engages in this behavior, you should consider using the strength of the law to protect your parental rights. With a strong legal strategy, you can focus on creating the life that you want for the child you love, while your rights and priorities remain secure.