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  • Ross & Beckman, PLC.

Be careful not to engage in custodial interference

Many couples think that their relationship couldn’t get worse than in those days and months before they call it quits. That’s not always the case. Relationships between co-parents can become quite contentious after their split.

You need to be cautious that you don’t let conflicts with your ex-spouse spiral so far out of control that you begin engaging in custodial interference. A judge could limit or strip you of custody if you do.

What is custodial interference?

Any instance in which a parent fails to abide by the established custody order or parenting plan between them and their co-parent may rise to the level of custodial interference. This can take on many different forms, but most commonly involves one parent preventing the other from having access to the children. It can also involve a parent who acts unilaterally on certain important decisions about their child’s welfare, including things like their educational and medical needs, when both parents share joint legal custody.

What if you feel like your co-parent is being unreasonable?

Maybe you feel caught in a trap by your co-parent. If they aren’t communicating with you in a timely manner about important decisions, you may feel forced to act on your own without them. Or, maybe you have tried to limit their contact with your child because you’re concerned about your ex-spouse’s behavior, especially if they’ve turned to alcohol or developed a drug habit.

In situations like that, the wisest thing you can do may be to seek court intervention through an enforcement and/or modification proceeding. If you have a valid reason for asking the court to intervene, it may be time to explore more of your legal options — before you do something that could hurt your own parent-child relationship.

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