In a perfect world, divorced or separated parents naturally put their child’s best interests ahead of their own and respect any custody orders laid forth by the court. Even when they are not on the best terms, they know this is the right thing to do.
In reality, however, things can be a little bit different. It’s not uncommon for one or both parents to interfere with the existing custody order. It is important to note that just as with any order, courts take custody orders very seriously. A violation amounts to contempt of court, and this can land the perpetrating party in serious trouble. Depending on the magnitude of the violation, the parent in question might lose custody rights altogether. But how exactly do parents interfere with custody orders?
Understanding custody interference
Essentially, any attempt by either parent to prevent the child from establishing a healthy relationship with the other parent per the court’s directive is deemed as custody interference. Here are examples of actions that amount to custody interference:
- Withholding visitation or refusing to return the child in time
- Failing to agree on what amounts to “reasonable visitation” in situations where the court order does not expressly state what this means
- Refusing to take the child to where the visitation exchange should take place
- Actively inciting the child against the other parent, thus, getting them to refuse to spend time with the other parent. This amount to parental alienation and it can have a lasting effect on the child’s emotional well-being.
- Relocating to another city or state with the child without the other parent or court’s knowledge
Every parent deserves to have a healthy relationship with their child. If you believe your ex is interfering with an active custody order, you need to act immediately to safeguard your child’s best interests.