What Are Your Options For Dealing With Custodial Interference?
Once a child custody order is issued by the family court, both parties are required to follow it. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Custody interference is a serious problem that could have a long-term effect on a non-custodial parent's relationship with his or her children. If you are a non-custodial parent and the custodial parent is interfering with your visitation rights, here is what you need to know.
What Is Considered Custodial Interference?
Custodial interference usually occurs when the custodial parent takes action to interfere with the relationship of the children and the non-custodial parent. For instance, he or she could refuse to allow the non-custodial parent to visit the children or might limit his or her phone communications with the parent.
Interference is not limited to preventing the parent from visiting. Sometimes, it can occur once the children are actually with the non-custodial parent. For instance, the custodial parent might show up repeatedly and unexpectedly while the children are with the other parent.
What Can You Do?
If the custodial parent is interfering with your visitation rights, you have several legal options available to you. However, your first move should be to discuss the situation with the other parent. If you believe that communicating with him or her in a calm manner is not possible, talk to your child custody lawyer. He or she can contact the parent and discuss the situation.
Continued interference should be brought to the attention of the family court. By failing to honor your visitation rights or interfering with your relationship with your children, the other parent is in danger of being in contempt of court. A judge can review the case and determine if that is the case and decide if legal action is warranted.
When revisiting the issue in court, you can choose to ask for a change to the visitation rights to avoid problems in the future. You can also ask the judge to select future dates as make up dates for visitation time that was previously missed.
Depending on the situation, you can possibly ask the judge to amend the order and give you custody of the children. The custodial parent's actions could be seen as damaging enough that the judge might agree a change in custody is necessary.
Even though custodial interference can take an emotional toll on you and your children, it is important that you remain calm and act within the law to remedy the situation.