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Can one parent cancel the other’s time with their children?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Child Custody

Those who separate from the other parent of their children typically need to negotiate a parenting plan. If they don’t settle their own arrangements, an Ohio family law judge will put together a custody order that determines when each will spend time with the children and what other obligations they have to the family.

Most separated parents eventually find a new daily rhythm where they work cooperatively and share responsibility for their children. However, there are unfortunately some people who absolutely resent the co-parenting obligations generated when they divorce or separate from the other parent of their children. One parent may try to undermine the custody order by canceling the other’s time with the children. Is that legal for someone to do when there is a custody order in place?

Cancellations should lead to rescheduled parenting time

When one parent cancels the other’s time with the children, they typically need to allow for makeup parenting time. Parents need to follow not just the proposed parenting schedule but also the overall breakdown of parenting time in their parenting plan.

Those trying to damage the bond that the other parent has with the children or deter them from showing up for their custody rights may not want to reschedule. A parent who cancels their own parenting time due to a scheduling conflict or who does not show up for the custody exchange likely won’t be able to demand makeup parenting time. Those who get turned away when they arrive could potentially hold the other parent accountable.

The courts frown on alienation efforts

When one parent intentionally tries to reduce the court-ordered time that the other has with the children, the parent not receiving the time that they should with the children could potentially bring the matter to the attention of the family courts.

Documentation of the interference with their parenting time could lead to a judge ordering makeup parenting time. In some cases, the judge might even modify the custody order response to one parent’s attempt to damage the others relationship with the children. Sometimes, one parent requesting enforcement support can be enough to get the other to stop interfering in their relationship with the children.

Seeking legal guidance to fight back against misconduct can help to protect those in a shared custody arrangement with an uncooperative co-parent.