When parties craft child custody agreements in New Jersey, they attempt to secure the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of the children after a divorce. Courts strive to achieve the same goal when making custody and parenting time determinations.
Parents who cannot stick to a parenting time agreement can find themselves back in family court – or worse, facing criminal charges and penalties.
Even well-organized plans can go awry. Children get sick. Cars break down. Soccer practice runs late. However, if one parent repeatedly cancels scheduled visits or otherwise interferes with mandated parenting time, the other parent should attempt to remedy the situation. Keep a record of phone calls, written arrangements, and attempted visits. Make holiday plans well in advance. If the other parent still seems to be interfering with your time, try mediation. As a neutral third party, a mediator can often help parents find a mutually agreeable solution. In today’s electronic climate, there are software programs like Our Family Wizard, which can help keep track of schedules, etc. Creating a Cozi family calendar, or a Google calendar which both parents have access to may limit discord.
Interfering with custody is a criminal offense and noncompliance with court orders can lead to contempt of court charges. Failure to fulfill parenting time obligations also violates the custody and parenting time agreement/order, and the Court can impose remedies, including mandated make-up time, economic sanctions, counseling, modification of the custody agreement, or community service.
Children have the right to spend quality time with both parents so long as their safety and happiness are not put at risk. If you have concerns regarding parenting time arrangements, contact one of our family law attorneys for assistance.