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Thoughts on seeking parenting time modifications

A divorce may have the effect of relieving the burdens you may have experienced when living under the same roof of your ex-spouse, but it may not alleviate the co-parenting issues you had during the marriage. You may still have issues with exchanges, calendaring events and even communicating with each other. Because of this, it is not surprising for a frustrated parent to seek court intervention to set a difficult parent straight.  These frustrations are commonly manifested in a motion to modify parenting time to restrict a parent's time with the children.

While this may feel like the proper course of action, it is important to understand that a family court judge may be reluctant to get involved with certain issues between parents. This post will identify a few.

Care by significant others - While courts may frown upon situations where a parent's new girlfriend or boyfriend is watching the children when the parent runs errands or is delayed in picking them up. They may not intervene unless a specific issue exists that creates significant harm to the child (i.e. a substance abuse problem, emotional or physical abuse).

Religious differences - Parents who want the court to issue an order barring children from participating in a particular religion may have difficulty convincing a court to do so. Bear in mind that judges are sensitive to a parent's First Amendment right to practice a particular religion, and this freedom extends to including children in such practices.

Entertainment choices - If you only let the kids watch child-friendly shows on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, and your ex-spouse lets them watch boxing matches and Marvel movies, chances are that a court will not intervene and issue an order restricting entertainment choices.  Family court judges expect parents to respect each other's entertainment choices.

The preceding is not legal advice. If you have questions about custody modifications, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.

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