Custodial interference is a serious problem for some families following divorce. It may be one parent who tries to withhold custody or both who fight over returning their children to the other home.
This interference is problematic for a few reasons. The first is that it limits the time a child has with the other parent. The second is that it causes stress to both the child and other parents involved. Third, it's a direct violation of the court order.
What should happen if custodial interference takes place in your case?
Ideally, you and the other parent will be able to work out your differences and put them aside to do what's in the best interests of your child or children. However, if you are continuously struggling with interference, then it is necessary to turn to your attorney and the court for assistance. You can ask the court to step in to modify the custody order or to guarantee access to your child.
The court will sometimes order missed parenting time to be "made up" in the future, and it may also order the offending parent to go through counseling or to pay for parenting education. Court costs and attorney fees may be charged to the at-fault parent, too. In worst-case scenarios, the parent who withheld custody could lose their parenting time rights or even end up in jail.
No two cases are alike, so reaching out when custody issues arise is a wise choice. If you can't see a way to work through issues on your own, then the court can step in and assist.