Denial of parenting time in British Columbia

A parent in British Columbia who has primary custody of a child may prevent the other parent from seeing the child despite the existence of a parenting time order. When that occurs, the parent whose parenting time rights were denied may file a motion with the court requesting the court take corrective action.

If the court finds that the parent’s court-ordered parenting time was wrongfully denied, the court has a number of available options from which to choose. The court may order the parties to go through family dispute resolution or order any one or all of the parties to attend counseling, programs or other services. The court may also order that transfer of the child be completed in front of a supervising third party. If the court orders any of these three things, it may either divide the costs between the parents or order one parent to pay them all.

The court may choose to fine the violating parent up to $5,000 or order the parent to pay an amount for the benefit of the other parent. The court may also grant compensatory time to the parent whose rights were violated to make up for the missed time. If the court believes that the parent will continue to violate the order, the court may require him or her to make a security deposit or regularly report to the court.

The law is in place because the province believes that a child’s best interests are met by the continued relationships with both parents. In the event a parent is being denied his or her parenting time, he or she may want to get help from a family law lawyer.

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