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Violating Child Custody Orders: What Parents Need to Know

Child custody orders are in place to ensure that the best interests of a child are put first when parents get divorced or are separated. However, matters become more complicated when one parent violates the child custody order by not sticking to the agreement that was established by the court.

Here is some information about violating child custody orders, including what the police can do to help and the legal ramifications of this type of violation.

What Is a Child Custody Order?

An official court order is established when a judge makes a decision about who retains custody of a child and visitation rights. This arrangement is necessary when parents are not able to come to an agreement on their own and opinions clash about who should take care of a child during specific times of the day, week, and year.

Reasons to Lose Custody of a Child

A child custody order can be violated in numerous ways, and these ways can all become reasons to lose custody of a child. Child abuse and neglect are the most common reasons that a parent would lose custody of a child. Other reasons are mental and emotional abuse, child abduction, unwillingness to work with the other parent for the best interests of the child, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Common violations of child custody orders include keeping a child for a longer visit than agreed upon or failing to tell the other parent about the child’s whereabouts. Other violations may be taking the child on vacation without prior approval, taking the child out of state, or allowing an unauthorized person to take care of the child.

Can Police Enforce a Child Custody Order

Police generally do have the power to intervene when someone has violated a child custody order because these orders have the same authority as other types of orders, such as orders to arrest or seize property. However, some police departments make it their policy to stay out of child custody matters unless a criminal infraction, such as abuse, has occurred.

Depending on the officer you deal with, he or she may be willing to contact the other parent to demand compliance. Alternatively, the officer may just tell you to address the matter with the court. In that situation, you may need to file a motion to enforce it with the relevant court.

Filing a Police Report for Custody Violation

Filing a police report for a custody violation is often a good first step when a violation occurs, and that step may scare the other parent into compliance. This report provides official documentation of your claim, which can help prove your custody case later on. When you go to file a police report, bring along a copy of the child custody order so that the officer can confirm the violation.

Legal Ramifications of a Violation of Court Order Child Custody

The violation of a court order of child custody is a serious matter and can have long-term consequences for the relationship between parent and child. The violating parent can face criminal penalties, such as jail time and fines. Violations can also result in permanent loss of custody and/or visitation rights if the violation is serious or repetitive in nature.

Get Help with Your Child Custody Matter

The Alatsas Law Firm specializes in child custody matters in Brooklyn and has a proven record of excellence with these types of cases. If you need help with a child custody situation because the other involved party has violated the order, we can help.

Please contact us at 718-233-2903 for a free consultation or start an online chat with us on our website.