Although it is generally speaking better when New Jersey parents who are living apart are able to get along, in many cases, they simply are not able to do so.
This is not always a mutual thing. Sometimes, because he or she simply does not care for the other parent, feels hurt by the divorce, or wants to hold power over him or her, the parent who has the children most the time will press that advantage and deprive the other parent court-ordered or even agreed upon visits.
While this behavior can be flagrant, it often is subtle, taking the form of sudden schedule changes, failures to communicate and just not making visits a priority.
This no doubt creates a difficult and frustrating situation for a parent who wants to have a relationship with his or her children but is getting stonewalled by the other parent. While criminal proceedings are an option in extreme cases, prosecutors in New Jersey may be more reluctant to intervene in cases that are not as cut-and-dried.
Fortunately, New Jersey also gives judges the power to do something about a parent who is depriving the other parent time with the children without having to go through the process of prosecuting criminal charges. For instance, a judge has the ability to order a party who violated a parenting time order to pay the legal fees of the parent who had to ask the court for help getting parenting time.
A judge can also award other compensation and can even make a parent who has not provided parenting time as ordered perform community service. A judge may also order makeup parenting time.