Every year, tens of thousands of people across this nation get divorced. Many of those men and women have children and some form of child custody becomes part of the divorce proceeding. This not only covers which parent will pay child support, if any, but how much that support could be as well as the allotted amount of time that each parent will have with the children.
The final ruling on the court is supposed to be the complete adjudication of the matter, which means that this is supposed to resolve all issues related to child support and custodial parenting. Because the parents have opted to allow the court to get involved by granting the divorce, they have also opened the door for a judge or other magistrate to determine issues related to child custody as well. This is something that a lot of parents may not have recognized when they got involved in the divorce proceeding.
What Happens When One Parent Is Withholding a Child From Another Parent?
A circumstance that happens far more often than it should is that one parent will become disillusioned by the ruling of the court or simply decide that they are not going to abide by the parenting order given by the judge.
This can happen for a variety of reasons. The primary custodial parent may feel that some form of abuse is occurring and withhold the children from the other parent. There are many instances where the parent that has the reduced amount of custodial time decides not to return the children because he or she wants an extended amount of time. There are also those instances where one parent is not receiving the support they are owed, so they opt to withhold the children.
However the law is quite clear about this factor and the judge’s order is the law as far as a court would see it. When one parent opts to keep the child or children from the other parent in violation of the child custody order, they are in violation of the law.
The unfortunate aspect of this is that often times police departments don’t want to get involved in these issues. They feel that this is a civil matter which they should not take sides in, so the children are kept from the other parent. This makes it seem as if the parent that is having the children from them has no real legal recourse. However, this is not the case.
Legal Recourse to Another Parent Withholding a Child
You need to have a writ filed with the court so that the judge brings both parents before him or her to discuss why one parent is neglecting or failing to allow the children to visit with the other parent during his or her time. Getting the judge involved is the way to resolve this issue so that the court isn’t informed that a violation of its order is occurring. This process can take a good amount of time to complete, so your patience will prove to be extremely valuable.
You’re having your rights violated and you’re waiting for a judge to decide the outcome for you. What you need to understand is that the judge is the final authority in this matter, and if he or she finds that the other parent is in violation of the order that the court provided, there are several different actions they can take, including removing custody from the other parent. This is not a frequent outcome, but it is one that does occur when a parent shows a blatant disregard for the court orders.
Are There Good Reasons to Withhold a Child From Another Parent?
In some cases, some form of abuse may be involved and the parent may decide that it is in the best interest of the children to deny access of them to the other parent. This is a perfectly understandable decision, but is one that should not be made based on your own decision.
Instead, you should bring the child to the police department and inform them of any kind of abuse going on. The court will then be informed of exactly what is going on, so that they can grant temporary full custody to the non-abusive parent.
Speak With A Family Law Attorney
The most important thing you can do for yourself if you are involved in a custodial issue where the other parent of your children is denying you access or you are concerned about the health and safety of your children is to contact a family law attorney that specializes in child custody cases. The truth is that the court and legal system, in general, can be extremely tricky, and you need to make sure you are getting sound advice to help you navigate your way through the system.
There are great attorneys ready to assist you in whatever legal issue you have to your custodial rights or in protecting the rights and safety of your children. An attorney can advise you of the best legal recourse to take and assist you every step of the way so that you can get your desired outcome.
To get in contact with our JacksonWhite Family Law team, fill out a form online or give us a call at (480) 467-4348.