Custodial interference can be a frustrating, highly volatile situation for parents with custody or visitation. And too often, the person interfering with a parent’s rights to have access to a child is the other parent.
This scenario can be frightening for children and devastating for a parent, so it can help know what options you have if the other parent is keeping your child from you.
Examples of custody violations
Being late to drop off your child or having to make occasional adjustments to a schedule is generally not the same as interfering with custody.
However, a parent can be violating a custody order and the other person’s rights if they:
- Repeatedly make a child unavailable for visitation
- Refuse to return a child at the determined time
- Take the child out of the state or country without permission
- Manipulate a child so that they will not want to go with the other parent
- Preventing communications between parent and child
These actions not only violate a court order but can also do considerable damage to a child’s well-being and the relationship between the child and the other parent. Thus, taking action immediately can be crucial.
Enforcing your custody or visitation order
Correcting this situation could be as easy as contacting the other parent to speak directly about interference issues. Perhaps there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding that parents can quickly clear up by having a conversation.
If these efforts are unsuccessful, parents can engage the help of an attorney who can take action, including, but not limited to, filing a Petition for Contempt. Such steps allow the courts to review claims that a parent has willfully disobeyed an order and hand down appropriate penalties, including fines, custody modifications and possible loss of parenting time.
Often, parents think that they should call the police to enforce a custody order. However, unless a child is in immediate danger, the police are typically reluctant to get involved in civil matters.
Thus, if someone keeps you from spending time with your child or otherwise interfering with your rights as a parent, responding directly and with legal guidance can be the best way to protect your child and yourself. For more information, concerned parents can contact the Quinn Law Firm at 814-806-2518.