When might restricted parenting time be ordered?
As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, Nebraska law and the Nebraska courts generally prefer both parents to have as much parenting time as possible. This is good news for fathers, since it means that they will often be given the opportunity to develop a healthy relationship with their children, thanks in large part to the generous visitation schedule that is a real possibility under Nebraska's laws.
However, it is important for both men and women to know that there are limits to this liberality, and there are reasons in which a court may legally restrict parenting time. Specifically, if a court finds by a preponderance of evidence, which means it is more likely than not, that one parent abused the child or the other parent, a court can order restrictions on one's parenting time. Likewise, a parent who has obstinately interfered with the other parent's custody and visitation time may find himself or herself subject to restrictions.
If ordered, these restrictions can really put a damper on a parent's relationship with his or her kids. Even if they fall short of supervised visits, restrictions can include things like restricted communication with the other parent, restrictions on who the parent can associate with during a visit, the posting of a cash bond or denial of overnight parenting time.
It is important that a parent who is threatened with restricted parenting time respond to such a threat with a vigorous legal defense of their interests, especially if the threat is based on allegations that are false or exaggerated. Likewise, a parent may need to ask for restricted parenting time for the protection of their child should the child's other parent prove to be unfit or unsafe around the children.