Although inadvisable, occasionally one party will withhold parenting time from the other parent. Generally, this is due to a dispute between the parents, most frequently over child support payments. However, even if you are behind in your child support payments, your ex cannot withhold parenting time.
A parent who is being denied parenting time can file a motion to enforce the current parenting time order. The motion must be signed and notarized by the parent seeking to enforce the order. Within 35 days, the court must determine whether there is likely to be substantial or continuing non-compliance with the parenting time schedule. The court may deny the motion; set the matter for hearing; or require the parties to mediate and report back to the court within 63 days.
If the court determines that the parenting time order was violated, the court may impose a number of different sanctions. These include:
1. Makeup parenting time;
2. Jail time for or fines against the non-complying parent;
3. A modification of the parenting time schedule;
4. Requiring the family to participate in counseling, at the non-complying parent’s expense;
5. Requiring the non-compliant parent to file a bond with the court; or
6. Requiring either or both parties to attend a parental education program, at the non-complying parent’s expense.
In addition, the court must order the non-complying parent to pay the attorneys’ fees, costs, and related expenses to the other party.
The consequences for withholding parenting time can be very steep. If you believe your child is in imminent danger, you should consult with an attorney about filing a Motion to Restrict.
If you are being denied parenting time, or believe there are grounds to withhold parenting time, call Katelyn to discuss your rights.