Often a highly contentious issue, when custody orders are interfered with it can lead in some cases to consequences of a criminal nature. However, there are a very few situations where it may be legally permissible to temporarily interfere with the custodial rights of the other parent. The following are important facts you should be aware of regarding custodial interference and what can be done regarding it.
Types Of Custodial Interference
There are many ways custodial interference can happen. Here are some examples:
- Making a visitation upon the child or children while the other parent is supposed to have custody of the child or children.
- When the other parent has a planned and a scheduled visit, the refusal to release the child or children to the other parent.
- Limiting the telephone or online contact the child or children has with the other parent.
- Not returning the child or children on time for a planned exchange.
- Using enticements to turn the child or children against the other parent.
However, in certain situations, custodial interference is not a violation of the law. For example:
- When you are protecting a child or children from danger.
- When previously made agreements disrupt custodial arrangements.
- When outside events prevent a parent making a timely transfer of the child or children (bad weather being one example.)
What Can Be Done?
A parent can report to law enforcement and the courts any examples of custodial interference. Courts will often try to remedy the ongoing situation. Here are a few ways they try to achieve this:
- Instituting revised and specific orders for visitation.
- Instituting make up time for visitation purposes.
- Family mediation or therapy.
Depending on the situation more severe intervention may be required – a parent may request greater relief. Examples include:
- Third parties being present at supervised visits.
- A neutral location being designated for the transfer of the child or children.
- Reductions or loss of custody or visitation.
- Fees and fines.
Many states consider custodial interference to be a felony or misdemeanor crime.
Source: “What Is Custodial Interference?” Findlaw, https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2013/08/what-is-custodial-interference.html.
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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.