How Keeping A Child Away From The Other Parent Can Backfire

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Keeping A Child Away From The Other Parent Can Backfire

Wondering how keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire?

This article is going to go over:

  • how to avoid jail
  • how to avoid parental kidnapping
  • your child doesn’t want to see the other parent
  • your child is in danger with the other parent
  • consequences of denying visitation
  • can you deny visitation because of owed child support?

So, let’s dig in.

Custody can be devastating. It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. Spouses end up having to pay agonizing amounts of financial support.

If you want to protect your rights, not wrongfully lose custody, and not get raked over the coals financially, fill out the form below. 

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How Keeping A Child Away From The Other Parent Can Backfire

The following sections are covering how keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire. 

The topics are:

What Are The Legal Repercussions?

This section is covering the legal consequences of keeping a child away from the other parent. 

Reasons To Withhold Visitation

First, let’s note that visitation is a court order

Keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire because you’re violating court orders. 

These visitation court orders get violated if:

  • the non-custodial parent doesn’t return the child on schedule
  • the primary custodial parent not making the child available for visitation
  • the child refusing to visit the other parent
  • denying visitation for non-payment of child support
  • missing visitation

A parent does not have a reason to withhold visitation. 

In the law’s eyes, there are no circumstances in which a parent can withhold visitation. 

This is true even if the child is in danger.

Keeping the child away from the other parent means you can get held in contempt of court

If the child is in danger, you need to weigh the child’s safety vs getting held in contempt. 

“Danger” can look like:

  • physical harm or domestic violence
  • sexual abuse
  • child abduction
  • substance abuse
  • a parent going to jail
  • neglect and emotional abuse
  • dangerous and hazardous living conditions
  • refusal to co-parent or intentional interference
  • cause of harm to the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • allowing children to miss school excessively during visitations
  • exposing children to dangerous situations or individuals
  • violation of prior court orders

These dangers are some of the reasons a judge will change custody

We discuss how to change custody in the sections below. 

Related: How a Mother Can Lose a Custody Battle

Consequences For Denying Visitation

The consequences for denying visitation vary from case to case. 

But, in general, the consequences for denying visitation are that the courts:

  • order “make-up” visitation
  • order the interfering parent to attend parenting classes
  • order the interfering parent to pay any costs resulting from the interference
  • changing the children’s transportation arrangements or the pick-up location
  • holding the interfering parent in contempt of court
  • impose a fine or even send the parent to jail 

Non-custodial parents keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire worse. 

This can result in criminal interference with custody

Even a single instance of keeping a child away from the other parent can result in a misdemeanor.

This misdemeanor usually results in fines or jail time. 

Three of these misdemeanor convictions turns into a felony. 

Serious cases of keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire by resulting in felonies. 

Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child

What Are Reasons It's Acceptable?

Earlier, we discussed keeping the child away from the other parent due to danger. 

But, besides dangers to the child, are there any other reasons it’s acceptable? 

These are some common scenarios clients ask us about. 

Father Doesn't Want To Pay Child Support But Wants Visitation

It fairly common that a father doesn’t want to pay child support. 

What if the father doesn’t want to pay child support but wants visitation? 

Even in this case, keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire. 

This is because child support and visitation are two separate court orders. 

Violating child support doesn’t violate visitation

So, even if the father is not paying child support, he still gets visitation. 

Denying him visitation due to nonpayment of child support, you are violating court orders

Visitation cannot get denied if the father does not want to pay child support. 

Visitation and child support are not linked.

This is because visitation is ultimately the right of the child.

Taking away a parent’s visitation right denies the child a relationship with that parent. 

Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody

Can A Father Just Take A Child From The Mother?

Can a father just take a child from the mother is a tough one to answer. 

Here are the answers to “can a father just take a child from a mother:”

  • the father has sole physical custody – yes, he can
  • the mother has sole physical custody – no, he cannot
  • the parents are still married – yes, he can
  • the parents share joint custody – it depends

Let’s look at the two scenarios where the father cannot take a child from the mother

If the father just takes a child from the mother, it could be parental kidnapping

This is only parental kidnapping if one parent does not notify the other parent of the move.

When one parent relocates the child without notification, this is parental kidnapping.

Parental kidnapping is a Class 2 Felony.

This means that a parent can go to jail for 3-7 years.

Parental kidnapping is concealing a child from the custodial parent without permission.

Related: How Can A Mother Lose Custody To The Father

Child Doesn't Want To Visit Non-Custodial Parent

What happens if the child does not want to visit the other parent? 

Is this a reason that keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire?

It may seem like the child not wanting to visit the parent is their choice

Some reasons a child doesn’t want to visit the non-custodial parent are:

  • they are unhappy with the rules the other parent has
  • the other parent lives too far away from friends, school, and activities
  • their parents frequently are in disputes
  • there is a new significant other at the other parent’s house

But, as the co-parent, the responsibility is yours

Legally, it’s your co-parenting role to foster a good relationship. 

This is true no matter what the reasons are that the child doesn’t want to visit the parent. 

The courts will view the child not wanting to see a parent as your fault

Because custodial parents are responsible for making sure that their child sees the other parent.

The courts want to see the co-parents working together

And they should be encouraging the child to see the other parent. 

In short, if a child doesn’t want to visit the non-custodial parent, it’s a court violation

Related: Non-Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State

What Are Your Next Steps?

What should you do if the other parent is keeping a child away from you?

  1. Don’t take matters into your own hands. 
  2. Document everything. Emails, texts, voicemails proving the violation. 
  3. Reach out to a custody attorney. 
  4. Give your evidence to them. 
  5. Have them file a petition on your behalf.  

Earlier, we discussed keeping the child away from the other parent due to danger

If your child is in danger, you need to file for emergency custody

When you file for emergency custody, the judge will hold a hearing the same day. 

They will consider your evidence proving the child is in danger. 

And if they agree, they will modify the child custody agreement on the spot.

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child 

Don't Wrongly Lose Custody Or Time With Your Child

You know that keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire. 

Maybe you are the one who kept the child away. 

Or your ex is keeping your child away. 

Either way, if you want the best custody attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.

We also make sure that your custody judgment is equitable and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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