Interfering with parenting time is unfortunately a tool used by many vindictive parents to harass or annoy the other parent. Sending the police to your home also interferes with your parenting time in subtle, but significant, ways. For instance, the children may believe that there is something wrong at mom or dad’s house if the police have to come and check on them. This blog discusses intentional interference with parenting time; specifically, it pertains to welfare checks, and how one can go about stopping or reducing this type of parenting time interference.
Indiana’s Parenting Time Guidelines describe and explain the Guidelines and provide commentary on the purpose and application of some of these Guidelines. Under the Guidelines, intentionally interfering with parenting time may include sanctions for contempt, injunctive relief, or even criminal charges depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the interference. If your children’s other parent is calling the police for welfare checks when you are exercising your parenting time, there are several things that you can do to make them stop:
- Try to determine why your ex is calling the police. Are you not responding to the other parent’s texts to you about the children? Are scheduled calls with the children going unanswered and unreturned? Some parents may call excessively to staying in touch with the children during the other parent’s time, also a classic form of interfering with parenting time. If it is at all possible to work out the issue with the other parent, that is the best course of action.
- Keep track of all the dates and times the police were called to your home for a welfare check. Include in your notes the responding officer’s name and follow up to obtain a copy of his or her report. This will help you be prepared in case you later need the court to intervene. You will forget these details and your notes can be used to reflect your recollection at a contempt hearing.
- Prepare and ask the Court to hold the parent requesting these police checks to be held in contempt and enter a suspended jail sentence. If your ex continues to call for welfare checks, after you have talked to them and to the responding officers, you can ask the court to hold you in contempt for violating your court ordered parenting time and serve a certain number of days in jail for each violation of your parenting time by police welfare checks. Again, courts have wide discretion to ensure quality parenting time, and violations of a court order can result in fines, jail time, and/or community service.
- Request an injunction. An injunction is a court order requiring a person to stop doing something; in this case, stop calling for welfare checks during your parenting time. Simply put, a parent who is not getting parenting time according to the court order may request an injunction against the action that is preventing them from the peaceful enjoyment of their time with the children. While calling the police for a welfare check may not exactly be denying you parenting time, it can certainly be argued by an experienced attorney, that it is having the same effect as a flat-out denial of your time with your children, as well as undermining your credibility with the children.
- Talk to the prosecutor about criminal charges. Intentionally interfering with your child’s other parent’s parenting time may be a crime. While this is an extreme remedy, it is a law on the books. Your attorney can assist you with contacting the prosecutor and having this conversation to help ensure that if your ex has committed a crime when making the welfare check calls, charges are considered.
Your ex could be harassing you during your parenting time for many reasons and excessive calls to the police for welfare checks may require the court’s intervention. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. have the knowledge and experience you may need to stop this interference with your parenting time so that you can enjoy your time with your children. This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. It is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. The blog is not legal advice. This is an advertisement.