Custodial interference is a serious legal offense that can have severe consequences. It occurs when one parent or guardian unlawfully takes or withholds a child from the other parent or guardian who has legal custody. This can be done with the intent to deprive the custodial parent of their custodial rights, to disrupt the child’s relationship with the custodial parent, or for other malicious reasons.
The legal consequences of custodial interference can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the jurisdiction in which it occurred. In some cases, it may be considered a felony offense punishable by imprisonment. In other cases, it may be considered a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine or probation.
What is Custodial Interference?
Custodial interference is the legal term for when one parent interferes with the custodial rights of another parent. This can happen in various ways, such as withholding a child from the non custodial parent or preventing the non custodial parent from seeing the child when they have legal visitation, or a non custodial parent does not return the child after visiting time is over. If a custodial parent tries to take the child away (move without permission or move out of state) and prevent the non custodial parent from enjoying their legal parenting time, the non-custodial parent may go to court to protect their custodial rights and get the child back. The court may then order make-up visitation time, to help remedy the situation or occasionally custody may be reversed and the custodial parent loses custody and primary custody is switched to the other parent.
When Can You Claim Custodial Interference?
If you have a court order and the other parent is not following it, you can file for contempt of court. This allows the court to look into the violation and punish the abuser for disobey the court’s order. Since custodial Interference is a serious offense, filing for contempt may not be enough. If you think you are the victim of custodial interference, you should contact a custody attorney, like in Redwood City, Bradley Bayan. An attorney can help you file an emergency petition with the court and get your child back if the custodial parent has left with the child or if the non custodial parent has failed to return the child as required.
Types of Custodial Interference
There are many different types of custodial interference, but all of them involve one parent disrupting the visitation or contact rights of the other parent. This can be done in many ways, such as preventing the other parent from seeing their child, stopping them from having contact with the child, or even physically injuring the other parent.
Legal Options for Custodial Interference
If you have a child custody order in place and your child’s other parent is interfering with that order, you have a few legal options available to you. You can file a police report, depending on the severity of the interference. You can also file a court order to stop the interference. If the interference is severe, you may be able to petition to get full custody of your child.
Legal Consequences of Custodial Interference
Custodial interference can be a crime in some jurisdictions and can result in jail time. Though in most cases, custodial interference is considered a civil matter. The legal consequences of custodial interference depend on the jurisdiction in which the interference occurred.
In some jurisdictions, custodial interference is a crime punishable by jail time. In others, it is considered a civil matter. The legal consequences of custodial interference depend on the jurisdiction in which the interference occurred. In some cases, custodial interference may be considered a form of kidnapping. In California, California Penal Code 278.5 deals with Child Abduction and specifies a “person who takes, entices away, keeps, withholds, or conceals a child and maliciously deprives a lawful custodian of a right to custody, or a person of a right to visitation, shall be punished…” and goes on to outline the punishments.
Generally custodial interference situations are handled by civil courts and not criminal courts. This does not mean the civil court does not have ability to punish violators. Custodial interference may be grounds for a change in child custody including loss of visitation unless it is supervised. In other cases, it may be considered a form of child abuse and again affect the court’s willingness to allow unsupervised visitation.
Get Help from an Experienced Lawyer
If you are accused of custodial interference or if your custody or visitation time is interfered with by the other parent, you should speak to an attorney, like Redwood City’s Bradley Bayan, who understands the rules and laws surrounding child custody.
If you are a victim of custodial interference, it is important to find legal support quickly as there are steps you can take to get your child back quickly and hold the other parent accountable for their malicious or thoughtless actions.
If your child has not been returned and you suspect foul play, you should first contact the police to file a report. You will need to provide them with as much information as possible, such as the name and contact information of the person who has your child, any witnesses, and any other relevant details. The police can investigate and take appropriate action.
Next you should also speak to an attorney to discuss your legal options, such as filing for changes to custody orders or filing a restraining order against the person who took your child.
Schedule a Consultation With a Redwood City Divorce Lawyer
If you have been charged with interference, or if you are a victim of interference, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced divorce lawyer familiar with California custody laws can help you understand what to do and available legal actions you can take. Contact the Law Offices of Bradley D. Bayan at (650) 364-3600 to schedule a free consultation.