At the conclusion of a divorce involving children, a court usually enters a Parenting Plan or visitation schedule outlining the specific times when each parent will have physical custody of a child. Cooperative parents can generally make informal changes to the plan when circumstances dictate to accommodate such things as vacations, involvement in school events or parental work schedules. Flexibility serves the needs of both parent and child and minimizes stress.
Unfortunately, not all divorces result in cooperative parenting, and a parent may withhold a child from the other parent in violation of the court ordered parenting plan. When a parent interferes with the other parent’s right to custody, the offending parent may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties.
Custodial interference, in the broadest sense, occurs when one parent actively disrupts the other parent’s scheduled time with their child. Interference may be as relatively minor as preventing phone contact between a child and parent, interfering with the other parent’s participation in school activities or returning a child an hour late from visitation. Continue Reading →