In a New York child custody and parenting time dispute, the children are frequently caught in the middle. Parents who have lingering animosity toward each other and let that impact whether they adhere to an already established agreement are making a mistake that can cause them serious problems.
One such situation is if the noncustodial parent is not being granted the time with the child they are supposed to receive. If this happens, the court can take certain punitive measures including ordering that the alimony or maintenance payments stop. This is a way to prevent the custodial parent from taking this action. In cases where this is an ongoing challenge, it is wise to have professional assistance.
Understanding interference or withholding of parenting time and its consequences
If it serves the child’s “best interests,” the court will allow parenting time. The court will assess various factors with custody and parenting time such as which parent provided the bulk of the care, their parenting abilities, physical and mental health, if there were domestic violence issues, the parents’ work situation and schedules, relationships with other family members, and the child’s preference if they are of a sufficient age to express it.
With alimony or maintenance and parenting time, a custodial parent who refuses to let the noncustodial parent see the child could face serious sanctions because of it. According to state law, the custodial parent cannot interfere with the noncustodial parent’s right to see the child. If they do so and are receiving alimony or maintenance, those payments could be suspended. This is at the court’s discretion. In addition, the court can cancel back payments that have not been made – also known as arrears.
Child-related family law issues generally require experienced legal assistance
Any family law case will have its complexities, but the most emotional and challenging aspects of a case are often related to children. There is an expectation and a legal requirement that the custodial parent will adhere to the child custody and parenting time order and let the noncustodial parent have time with the child. However, some do not do so. This is especially problematic if the noncustodial parent has done nothing to warrant this treatment.
To address these issues, it is important to have professional advice that is specifically tailored to the situation. That includes trying to negotiate without going to court, explaining the available options and trying to forge a workable solution. If that does not yield the desired results of the custodial parent adhering to the law and the agreement and allowing parenting time, then it may be necessary to pursue legal alternatives. The key is the child’s well-being and maintaining a strong relationship with both parents. Having an experienced legal professional who provides hands-on service in a caring way can be the difference in achieving a good result.