What is custodial interference?

Sharing custody of your child with another parent, particularly with one with whom you do not get along, can be very difficult. No matter what type of custody arrangement you have, chances are that one or both of you feels like you do not have enough time with your kids. Further, you can feel jealous or bitter when your child is with your ex.

With all the emotions at play in these situations, parents can easily make some ill-advised decisions. In some cases, these decisions threaten the well-being of a child, the relationship a parent has with a child and possibly his or her parental rights. Interfering with custody is one such decision. Following are examples of custodial interference that parents all across Florida should avoid.

Custodial interference refers to behaviors that interfere with another parent's lawful right to a child. In accordance with Florida state laws, this includes:

  • Refusing to return a child to his or her other parent when required
  • Prohibiting the other parent from seeing a child
  • Enticing a child away from the other parent
  • Allowing (or encouraging) a child to run away from the other parent

These can all be grounds for a felony charge and criminal penalties.

However, there are other ways people interfere with custody that may not come with the same criminal penalties. These behaviors can, however, be a violation of your parenting plan. This might include:

  • Engaging in excessive communication with your child when he or she is with the other parent
  • Talking badly about the other parent to a child in an effort to drive them apart
  • Visiting a child during the other parent's time without permission
  • Prohibiting a child from calling or otherwise contacting the other parent

These are all ways that parents can put their parental rights in jeopardy. They can also put a child in serious danger. This is why Florida courts take these allegations seriously, and why you should take them seriously as well.

If you are concerned with custodial interference or other parenting violations, it can be crucial that you contact an attorney sooner, rather than later. Doing so can ensure your rights and your child are protected.

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