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What is Custodial Interference and What Can I Do About It?

 Posted on September 27, 2023 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

IL divorce lawyerCustodial interference occurs when a parent prevents the other parent from having their court-ordered visitation with their child. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Refusing to let the child go to the other parent's house
  • Hiding the child from the other parent
  • Moving out of state without the other parent’s permission
  • Picking up the child early or dropping them off late
  • Showing up unexpectedly during the other parent’s parenting time
  • Keeping the child from talking to the other parent on the phone or video chat

Custodial interference is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on you and your child. There are steps you can take to protect your rights and your relationship with your child. It starts by contacting a family law attorney who can help you understand your options and can represent you in court if necessary.

What are the Penalties for Custodial Interference?

The penalties for custodial interference vary depending on the severity of the offense. For the first two offenses, a person can be charged with a petty offense, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500. For subsequent offenses or more serious cases of custodial interference, a person can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

What Can I Do if I Am the Victim of Custodial Interference?

Prosecution of custodial interference is difficult and joint custody creates further problems for law enforcement. However, you and your lawyer can file a motion with the court. You will need to prove that the other parent has interfered with your court-ordered parenting time. The judge can then decide how to remedy the issue.

In such cases, the court can order various penalties, including jail time for the offending parent. This serves as a strong deterrent to custodial interference. Other potential outcomes for one or both parents involved may include:

  • Revising the court-ordered child decision-making responsibilities or parenting time
  • Requiring one or both parents to attend parenting classes
  • Requiring the offending parent to post a cash bond or pay a fine as a consequence of their interference
  • Ordering the offending parent to reimburse the other parent for various expenses incurred due to the interference, such as attorney's fees, childcare costs, and other related expenses
  • Notifying state police to document the situation if there is a history of interference

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney

Consult with a knowledgeable Naperville, IL divorce attorney if you are dealing with custodial interference. It is a violation of the child's right to have a relationship with both of their parents. At Calabrese Associates, P.C., we understand the importance of a child’s relationship with their parents and will fight to ensure proper parenting time is received. Call 630-393-3111 now for a reasonably priced consultation to discuss the intricacies of your case.

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