Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

A discussion of parenting time interference

There is no question that divorce is hard on parents and children. Everyone in a Massachusetts family who experiences divorce must learn to live with a new normal as their one household divides into two. When it comes to setting up plans to ensure that children of divorce are cared for and provided with their needs, courts and families work to establish sound and child-focused custody plans.

This family law blog has dedicated many recent posts to different issues related to what constitutes child custody and how child custody plans are set up. However, when child custody plans are insufficient to meet children's needs, they may have to be changed. This can occur when new circumstances, like parental job changes or special needs of the children, arise. It can also happen when parents fail to act in their kids' best interests and do things to detrimentally affect their co-parents' relationships with their kids. This latter category includes actions known as parenting time interference.

Parenting time interference happens when a parent tries to change the other parent's experience with their children. It can occur as direct interference, such as when a parent fails to drop a child off for visitation or prevents a child from talking to the co-parent over the phone, or it can happen indirectly, such as when a custodial parent excludes the other from their child's school and activity-based events.

Courts can help parents find remedies to this serious problem, but often when parents work together they can protect themselves and each other from instances of parenting time interference. Family law attorneys can also help them find workable solutions to their child custody problems so that they can benefit and protect their children's best interests.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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Needham, MA 02494

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