Potential Legal Issues Related to Child Custody

January 16, 2024by Adam Sacks

Are you experiencing legal issues related to child custody?

 

Interference With Child Custody or Visitation

Interference with custody refers to any intentional act that illegally prevents the non-custodial parent from exercising their rightful visitation or custody time with their child. This interference can take various forms, including denial of visitation, canceling or altering agreed-upon visitation schedules without valid reasons, and even removing the child from the custodial parent’s care without consent.

The consequences of custody interference can be detrimental to both the child and the parent. The child may suffer emotional distress and confusion due to the sudden disruption in their relationship with the non-custodial parent. This can impact their overall well-being and stability. The custodial parent may face legal consequences for their actions, including contempt of court charges, fines, or even modification of custody arrangements in favor of the non-custodial parent.

Forty-six percent of children 18 and younger live with two married heterosexual parents who have never been divorced. By contrast, 34% live with an unmarried parent, while 15% live with two parents who have been remarriage. [1]

 

Relocation

Relocation refers to a situation where one parent seeks to move with the child to a different geographic location, either within the same state or to a different state or even country. Relocation cases can be complex and highly contentious, as they often involve significant legal and emotional considerations for both parents and the child involved.

When a parent wishes to relocate with a child, it can pose significant challenges to the existing custody arrangement and the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent. The non-relocating parent may be concerned about the impact of the move on their ability to maintain a meaningful and consistent relationship with their child.

In legal terms, a parent who wishes to relocate typically needs to seek permission from the court, especially if the relocation will significantly impact the existing custody arrangement or parenting time. In some cases, the consent of the non-relocating parent may also be required. The specific requirements for relocation cases vary by jurisdiction, and it would be wise to consult with a family law attorney who is well-versed in the laws of the relevant jurisdiction.

Relocation

 

Failure To Pay Child Support

Child support is a court-ordered payment intended to assist in covering the costs associated with raising a child. These funds are crucial for providing the child with basic necessities such as food, clothing, education, and medical care. When a noncustodial parent fails to fulfill their financial obligations, it can have detrimental effects on the child’s well-being.

Nonpayment of child support can lead to various legal actions and penalties. The custodial parent may seek enforcement through the court system, which can result in wage garnishment, bank account levies, seizure of tax refunds, suspension of driver’s licenses, or even imprisonment in some cases.

State child support agencies also have the authority to take action, including reporting the delinquent parent to credit bureaus, revoking passports, or intercepting lottery winnings or other windfalls.

 

Exercising Poor Judgment on Social Media

Privacy concerns: In child custody cases, privacy is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to protecting the best interests of the child. Both parents should be cautious about what they post on social media platforms, ensuring that the content doesn’t compromise the child’s well-being or violate any court-ordered privacy restrictions.

Evidence in court: Social media posts can be used as evidence in child custody cases. Anything posted online, including photos, videos, and comments, can potentially be presented in court to prove a parent’s behavior, lifestyle, and parenting abilities. Both parents need to be mindful of what they share on social media and how it may be perceived by the court during proceedings.

Co-parenting conflicts: Negative or confrontational posts aimed at the other parent can escalate tensions and affect the overall co-parenting relationship. Maintain a respectful and amicable approach online and avoid engaging in public disputes or making derogatory comments about the other parent.

Online harassment and stalking: One parent may use social media platforms to harass or stalk the other parent. This can be highly detrimental to the well-being of the child and may lead to legal actions, such as restraining orders or charges of harassment. Both parents should be aware of the potential consequences and seek legal remedies if necessary.

Violation of court orders: Child custody and visitation orders should be followed strictly. Social media can become a medium for evidence of circumventing these orders. A parent may post photos or updates during times when they’re not supposed to have custody. Such actions can be considered a breach of court orders and may result in legal consequences.

Exercising Poor Judgment on Social Media

 

Disobeying a Court Order

Disobeying a custody order not only undermines the stability of the child’s life but also violates the custody rights of the other parent. The non-complying parent may find themselves facing legal consequences, such as contempt of court charges.

This may result in fines, loss of custody or visitation rights, modification of the custody order, and even potential criminal charges in certain cases. Court orders are legally binding, and compliance is not optional.

 

Refusing to Cooperate or Compromise With the Other Parent

One potential legal issue that can arise from refusing to cooperate with the other parent is a violation of the custody or visitation order. These court orders are put in place to ensure that both parents have equal access and involvement in the child’s life.

When one parent consistently refuses to cooperate, it can lead to disputes over visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and overall parenting responsibilities. This can ultimately result in legal action and potential repercussions for the non-compliant parent.

It may be necessary for the other parent to seek a modification of the existing order. This can potentially result in a change of custody or visitation arrangements, which may not be favorable for the non-compliant parent.

Courts will always prioritize the child’s best interests, and a refusal to cooperate or compromise may be viewed as detrimental to the child’s well-being.

 

Are you facing difficult legal issues related to child custody? Contact Sacks & Sacks today to schedule a consultation.

 

Source:

[1] Bieber, C. (2023, March 23). Child Custody: Types, Laws & Parental Rights. Forbes Advisor. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/child-custody/child-custody/

by Adam Sacks

Adam Sacks is lead Family Law Attorney at Law Offices of Sacks & Sacks, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a BA in Psychology from 1994, and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1999 from the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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