When it comes to legal issues involving family matters, parents and children may experience a whirlwind of emotions. To make things even more complicated, some families in this position are trying to adjust to life after a divorce. In Boston, and communities across Massachusetts, it is crucial for parents who have a child custody order or visitation schedule to understand their rights and avoid any behaviors that violate these agreements.
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is against the law for a parent to deny their child’s other parent his or her visitation rights or parenting time in accordance with the custody order. Custodial interference, a punishable offense, occurs when a child under the age of 18 is unlawfully kept from a relative who has rights to custody or visitation.
On their site, the 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts addresses the penalties a parent may face for parenting time interference. For example, a parent who has interfered with the other parent’s visitation rights may have to reimburse the other parent for expenses that were incurred as a result of their behavior and the court could decide to make changes to their parenting plan.
Unfortunately, many parents have chosen to interfere with the rights of non-custodial parents, for any number of reasons. When a non-custodial parent believes that their rights have been violated, they should take steps to address the situation as soon as possible. After all, both parents have a responsibility to protect their child’s best interests and work towards a healthy outcome.