Sharing custody of your child is not easy, particularly when you share it with someone you do not like or trust. Some parents are so upset that they are tempted to try and hurt the other party by not complying with the order.
However, disobeying a custody order is one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make regarding their custody agreement. Parents and other parties can face serious consequences for custody violations.
What does a violation look like?
Custody violations can take many forms. Broadly, they include breaking any rule set in a custody order. However, one of the most common ways parents violate custody orders is by failing to return a child to the other parent or otherwise depriving the other parent of parenting time.
For instance, a Midwest woman was recently charged with felonies after she forced her way in to the home of her daughter’s father. She picked up her daughter and then left. This was after she refused to return her daughter to the father the weekend before.
Ultimately, she was caught and charged with burglary and depriving custody.
What are the penalties?
Criminal penalties for custody violations vary by state. In Illinois, however, parenting time interferences are petty offenses. These can result in fines, probation and orders for restitution.
Repeated violations can lead to escalated charges and penalties. Two or more convictions can result in a Class A misdemeanor.
There may be other penalties, as well. In the case we discussed above, the mother lost custody of her child for her actions. Parents can also lose their license and may be ordered to pay the other parent’s legal fees and expenses.
Protecting your child and your rights
It is always wise to comply with court custody orders. Failure to do so can have serious consequences and cause harm to your child.
If you are worried about your child’s well-being or safety, or if you feel like a custody order is unfair, there are legitimate routes to protect your child and your rights that do not involve violating a custody order. Talking to an attorney can help you understand custody modification and emergency orders, as well as the other lawful options you may have.