Arizona has specific laws that address custodial interference. Custodial interference is when one parent knowingly acts contrary to a parenting plan or against the legal rights of the child’s other parent or lawful custodian. The most serious type of custodial interference is parental kidnapping.
Parental kidnapping involves one parent taking a child in direct violation of a custody order. This may include any of the following:
If there are no court orders in place regarding child custody or setting forth a parenting plan, then no action can be taken against either parent until the court signs custody orders. However, the mother of a child born out of wedlock has custodial rights of that child until a custody order is in place.
The police may be called if a parent refuses to obey a court-ordered parenting plan. The police have the power to warn that parent or arrest that parent for resisting a court order. Either way, a record is made proving police involvement should the court need evidence of parental wrongdoing for a future ruling.
If a parent continuously refuses to obey a court-ordered custody agreement and repeatedly interferes with the custody of the other parent, that parent can petition the court for changes in the parenting plan, including:
When custodial interference is severe or threatening, a parent can ask the court for the following:
Custodial interference is a severe offense in Arizona and can result in penalties, including a criminal misdemeanor, felony, or loss of parental rights. The court will act in the best interests of the child when determining punishment for custodial interference.
There are exemptions to the custodial interference laws. These are as follows:
If you would like to discuss your custodial rights in Arizona, contact the experienced Chandler divorce attorneys at Wilson-Goodman, PLLC. Whether your rights are being interfered with or you need advice on withholding your child from another parent due to dangerous circumstances in their home, Wilson-Goodman, PLLC, can help you.