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Understanding custodial interference

The demise of a relationship has a way of changing how partners feel about one another, especially immediately after it comes to an end. You and your ex may bear a lot of animosity toward one another, and that can manifest in strange ways. 

You should know, however, that engaging in custodial interference can adversely impact your custodial rights and, consequently, your support obligations. 

What is custodial interference?

Both parents must adhere to any parenting plan and subsequent court order regarding custody.

It’s not uncommon for moms and dads who conflict with one another to resist turning over their child at pre-designated times or to try and cut short visitation or otherwise limit their ex’s access to their kids. A parent may even withhold child support in hopes of gaining increased access to their kids. Instances like these fall under the umbrella of custodial interference, and that’s illegal here in Michigan. 

If you do engage in any form of custodial interference, a judge can hold you in contempt of court and order your arrest. More often than not, it results in a family law judge placing limits on a parent’s child custody, imposing supervised visitation, wage garnishment and potential driver’s license suspension. 

What are alternatives to custodial interference?

If you’re unhappy with your current custody situation, you have options. You can request additional custodial rights or changes to your parenting plan or support orders as necessary — as long as you go through the proper process.

Devising a parenting plan and requesting modifications can be trying when you and your ex aren’t on good terms with one another. You shouldn’t try to take the situation into your own hands, however, under any circumstances. A child custody attorney may be able to help resolve your differences with your ex without getting a Michigan judge involved. 

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