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What can constitute custodial interference in Arizona?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Child Custody

Life after divorce can come with challenging adjustments and transitions for all family members. If it involves children, the parents often have custody arrangements to incorporate into their lives, impacting their and their child’s lifestyle. The parents may make mistakes or go against the custody order, depending on the setup. Sometimes, these violations can be too severe, qualifying as custodial interference.

Some missteps can be minor, but disruptive enough to cause conflicts between parents. However, intentional and repetitive offenses can constitute interference based on the following factors:

  • The custody arrangement, whether the parents have joint legal custody of the child
  • One party is deliberately hindering the other party from exercising their parental rights
  • The act of taking, keeping or hiding the child is deliberate, intentionally obstructing parental access
  • There are no valid reasons to justify the interfering parent’s behavior and misconduct

The considerations used to determine if an incident is unlawful can vary. Still, custodial interference can be a severe crime, counting as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. The penalties can also vary based on whether other details of the incident bring about additional charges.

Taking measures to prevent custody issues

While some custodial interference violations happen intentionally, others do not. Sometimes, these incidents happen because one or both parents misunderstood the order or had some miscommunication, escalating the situation.

Seeking legal counsel can help prevent these instances, primarily if there are confusing details in the custody order. Clarifying the terms and conditions can be beneficial, keeping both parents aligned to implement them appropriately. Fully understanding the order can also help parents determine any details or issues that may need adjustments considering the child’s needs.