Going through a custody or visitation dispute is never easy. When you finally reach a resolution, it can bring a tremendous amount of relief. Unfortunately, that is not always the end of the matter. You may be stuck dealing with an ex who simply refuses to follow the parenting time schedule—thereby taking away the precious moments you have with your children.
This raises an important question: What should I do if my former partner is interfering with my parenting time? It is a complicated issue that must be handled with care. Below, our Mankato child visitation attorneys answer the question by providing an overview of Minnesota’s parenting time law and explain the steps you should take if your ex is interfering with your legal rights.
Minnesota Law: Interference With Parenting Time
Minnesota family courts make decisions under the best interests of child legal standard. Separated parents have a legal responsibility to comply with any valid custody agreement or custody order. If they fail to do so, family courts can award a remedy. Under Minnesota law (MN Stat. § 518.175), the court shall provide a remedy if there is “repeated and intentional denial of or interference with court-ordered parenting time.” Remedies vary based on the underlying nature of the case. Some examples include:
- The awarding of compensatory parenting time;
- The modification of a custody/visitation order;
- Imposition of monetary civil penalties; and
- Awarding of attorneys’ fees and legal costs to the other parent.
Three Steps to Take If Your Custody/Visitation Rights Were Violated
Do not allow parental interference to persist unchallenged. If you are entitled to parenting time under a custody agreement or custody order, you have enforceable legal rights. Here are three key steps to take to address the issue:
Notification: Notification always comes first. You should calmly inform your co-parent that a violation is occurring and that you want full access to your parenting time.
Documentation: Make an effort to document violations as they occur. Write down exactly what happened and preserve any supporting evidence.
Action: Escalate action as necessary. Generally, informal conversations come first. If the interference continues, a family lawyer will help you draft a formal demand letter. After that, you can take the matter to family court to seek the appropriate remedy.
Child custody and visitation matters are complicated, even more so when there is parental interference. Early intervention is one of the keys to protect your parental rights and your access to full parenting time. Consult with an attorney as early as possible.
Schedule a Confidential Family Law Consultation in Minnesota
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota family law attorneys will protect your rights and solve your problems. If your former partner is improperly interfering with your parenting time, we are here to help. For a confidential, no commitment initial review of your case, please contact our team right away. We handle custody and visitation cases throughout Southern Minnesota, including in Rochester, Le Center, Montgomery, Kasson, and Byron.