Interfering with a child custody order is actually illegal in the state of Ohio. This can arise when one party of a separation or divorce will not return the child once their time is up. In other cases, it occurs when a relative or a friend of the family refuses to return the child to his or her parent. Whether the offending parent has custodial rights or not, this charge can be imposed.
There are different degrees of custodial interference. Custodial interference can involve the failure of the offending parent to return the children for their scheduled parenting time at the time scheduled. The offending parent can also fail to make the child available for parenting time in accordance with the agreement. The most serious type is when the child is taken out of state or out of the country away from their parent.
What the Law Has to Say
Ohio State law has defined the act of interference with custody as illegal in the 2006 Ohio Revised Code § 2919.23. In most criminal cases, the crime of interference with custody is fact sensitive and will have varying outcomes based on the specific visitation arrangement.
In some instances, contempt-of-court sentences are applied, but that is not always the case. Some of the expected consequences may be:
- Fines / jail time
- Reimbursement of attorney’s fees incurred by target parent
- Family therapy
- Supervised parenting time for offending parent
When there is an interference with custody issue, the police are often called and get involved. Although matters of this nature may be handled in civil court as much as possible, an arrest can take place.
If the case is prosecuted and a defense is required on your behalf, you should seek out experienced legal help at once. Call our Cleveland criminal defense lawyers today so we can fight for you!