When a relationship ends on bad terms, some parents will work together for the sake of their children and be relatively co-operative. Others will not. Some parents are even willing to use their children as pawns in custody games, which is hurtful to both the children and the parent who is being deprived of their fair share of custody.
You may have a valid case for accusing your child’s other parent of custody interference if they engage in certain behaviors.
What is custodial interference?
Instances in which one parent takes steps to prevent the other from seeing their child at pre-designated intervals may constitute custodial interference. You must keep in mind that even though you two may share joint custody, you likely have a set schedule for custody exchanges. Failing to adhere to this schedule may constitute custodial interference.
You must also understand that if you and your ex share joint custody, then it’s likely that both of you two have legal decision-making rights. Your custodial arrangement may require you both to consult one another about your child’s religious upbringing, education and medical care. If your ex arbitrarily and routinely refuses to include you in such decisions, that could also be custodial interference.
Similarly, withholding visitation rights because of disputes over child support or any other issue that’s unrelated to the child’s safety is another example of custodial interference.
What are the legal implications of custodial interference?
Different jurisdictions impose distinct penalties when parents engage in custodial interference. Usually, the court will try to convene a meeting and reinforce the parent’s obligation and understanding of their custody orders — and the limitations on them.
If there are ongoing issues, the court can impose fines, hold a parent in contempt of court or even modify custody to remove the child from the offending parent’s physical care.
What should you do if your ex is engaging in custodial interference?
Your time with your child is precious. At the foundation of some of the best co-parenting relationships is mutual respect. You may find it hard to build a lasting bond with your child if their other parent constantly makes inflammatory choices that affect your rights and your relationship. An attorney can help you learn more about custody enforcement and modifications.