Custodial interference occurs when a parent violates court orders by not allowing a parent to visit with their children despite having the right to do so under a custody arrangement.
This is a civil issue in most states. When a parent is engaging in custodial interference, the parent being denied the opportunity to see their children as frequently as they should be permitted to can address the issue via civil court proceedings.
Utah is different. Custodial interference is a criminal offense in our state.
Theoretically, that means while a parent cannot necessarily file a custodial interference action, a prosecutor can take action against a parent who isn’t complying with a court-ordered custody arrangement.
The problem is, many find that prosecutors are unwilling to take these cases as seriously as they should. If your ex is engaging in custodial interference, you can report the matter to law enforcement or your city’s or county’s attorney. However, unless you provide very significant amounts of evidence showing you have a valid case, there’s a good chance the police will never make an arrest and the prosecutor will never file charges.
This doesn’t mean you should simply accept the circumstances if your ex is preventing you from seeing your children. It means you need to address the situation with the help of a legal professional.
There are various ways a custodial interference lawyer may be able to assist you when an ex won’t abide by the terms of your custodial agreement. Again, you should start by going to the police or the local attorney with your case. While there is a possibility they won’t take action, you will have a better chance of showing that you have a strong case and your ex should be charged if you have help from an attorney who can advise you on how to document that custodial interference is occurring.
Additionally, in some instances, when a custodial parent is engaging in any degree of custodial interference, they may be able to file a motion that would require their ex to show why they should not be held in contempt of court for failing to abide by the custody/visitation terms outlined in the custodial agreement.
Simply filing a motion may be enough to convince your ex to begin letting you spend time with your children. If the motion moves forward and they are unable to demonstrate why they should not be held in contempt of court, your ex might face a range of penalties. At a minimum, they may be required to “participate in workshops, classes, or individual counseling to educate the parent about the importance of complying with the court order and providing a child a continuing relationship with both parents.”
It can be very frustrating and even heartbreaking when you are unable to see your children because your ex will not allow you to even though this means they are denying court orders. Salt Lake City child custody attorneyEmy A. Cordano understands this. That’s why Attorney Cordano works hard to ensure these matters are addressed thoroughly and properly. Learn more by contacting our firm onlineor calling us at 801-804-5152.