On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Friday, March 23, 2018.
When fathers in Illinois find their custody time frequently interrupted, delayed or denied, they may need to take legal action. Custodial interference occurs when one parent attempts to block or undermine the other parent’s right to custody of their children. In addition to interfering with the practical matters of arranging custody, the practice could harm the emotional bond between the parent and child. Custodial interference is not simply a matter of differing schedules or resolving small issues; it is a criminal matter that should be taken seriously.
In order for a parent to be held accountable for custodial interference, it is necessary to have a child custody agreement on record with the court. Many parents neglect to establish a custody agreement when separating, especially if they were never married. This can make it more difficult to fight back later. A custody agreement could reflect joint custody, shared custody or primary custody for one parent with explicit visitation for the other parent. When this kind of custody order is in place and a parent refuses to hand over the child, courts may charge custodial interference.
Custodial interference can also come into play when a parent comes to take their child during the other parent’s scheduled custody time or refuses to return the child at the end of their custodial time. In some cases, law enforcement may get involved. For the most part, however, returning to court to clarify or amend the custody agreement will be necessary.
For fathers who feel as if they are at risk of losing access to their children, there are actions that can be taken to protect that bond. A family law attorney could help a father protect his child custody rights in court and put an end to attempts at custodial interference.