What Happens If I Am Being Denied My Parenting Time?

September 17, 2012 - by Eric Anderson

Whatever the reason for the dispute, being denied parenting time with your children is certainly a frustrating experience.  Often times, the dispute is between the parents and really doesn't concern the children - which is especially hard on a parent-child relationship.  So, what action can you take if you are being denied parenting time or having trouble enforcing your parenting time?

First, make sure you actually have court-ordered parenting time with your child.  If the court has not awarded you parenting time, then there is nothing to enforce.  If no court order is in place, you need to take action to get a court order in place going forward.

Second, check your court order to see if it contains a specific parenting time schedule.  Often times, a court order will say something like "reasonable and liberal parenting time."  That's all well and good (until the parents can no longer cooperate), but it does not give any specifics for a court to enforce.  Furthermore, parties often deviate from their court-ordered schedule - which can work fine while there is cooperation.  However, the court can only enforce what it has already ordered - not an informal agreement among the parties.  If your court order does not have a specific parenting time schedule and you are having difficulties, take steps to get a specific schedule in place and signed by the court.

Third, check the court order for a provision related to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).  Court orders often have a provision that requires the parties to attempt some form of ADR prior to bringing any motions in court.  Common types of ADR in this situation are mediation, parenting consultants, and parenting time expediters.  Check your order to see which is required.  The court will not hear your motion until ADR has been attempted in good faith.

Finally, assuming you've already tried ADR, you can bring a motion in court to resolve the issue.  If the court finds that your parenting time has been improperly denied or the other parent has interfered with your parenting time, the court can order several remedies including:

Disclaimer: No case or client-specific information shall be discussed on this website. The content provided is informational only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have questions about divorce or custody in Minnesota , please seek the advice of an attorney.