Anyone who has ever seen a rerun of the television show Law & Order is familiar with the term “custodial Interference”. In the TV show, it is made to seem like a “lesser” offense. But that’s television. In real life, it is a punishable serious offence.
Interference with child custody occurs when a person takes or retains a child under 18 years of age:
- When the person knows that the act violates a judgment or order of custody
- When the person takes the child out of the jurisdiction while a custody suit is pending
- When the person takes the child out of the U.S. with the intent to deprive the person with possession of the child of possession or access
It is also a violation of child custody laws if the noncustodial parent knowingly entices or persuades the child to leave the custody of his or her custodial parent or guardian.
There are some circumstances that provide an affirmative defense for those committing interference with child custody. For instance, if the person taking or retaining the child was fleeing the commission or the attempted commission of family violence against the child or the person, or if the retention of the child was due to circumstances beyond the person’s control and every effort was made to contact the custodial parent or guardian, the court would take this into consideration.
In issues of child custody and other matters of family law, your wisest course of action is to consult an experienced attorney for advice.
Do you need help with issues related to child custody? Call us at (956) 428-2822 or complete our online form for a confidential and no-obligation consultation.