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Can one parent prevent the other from seeing their children?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2023 | Child-Related Matters

Divorce is a decision that often requires a lot of careful contemplation. Someone may decide in an instant to marry their partner but may take many months to decide to end that marriage later. Most people know that divorce can be expensive both in terms of direct costs and due to the loss of certain resources when dividing property. Many people also worry about what a divorce would mean for their relationship with their children.

There are some adults who will put their concerns ahead of what is best for their children. They may be so bitter about the end of the marriage that they would prefer to never see their spouse again. Their negative emotions may manifest in an attempt to alienate the other parent from the children in the family.

However, the Indiana courts generally do not want one parent to assume sole authority over children who have two fit parents. Young people generally benefit from the support and guidance of both of their parents, especially after a difficult change to their normal routine. Judges in Indiana typically seek to give both parents liberal amounts of time with the children, as doing so will be in their best interests.

Addressing refusal concerns

When one parent refuses to allow the other to spend time with the children, that can reflect negatively on them. Unless they have provable justifications for their interference, the courts may ultimately diminish their parenting time and decision-making authority to reflect their attempt to alienate the other from the children.

The circumstances in which limiting one parent’s access would be reasonable include scenarios involving extreme instability, a history of neglect, documented abuse or addiction issues. For most families, judges expect to see the adults cooperating to do what is best for the children. If one parent will not uphold a temporary or final custody order, the other can document the infractions and potentially take the matter back to family court.