Custodial interference typically occurs between split parents. Interference happens when one parent keeps a child away from the other parent. Custodial interference usually takes place when a non-custodial parent fails to return the child to the custodial parent after a scheduled visitation.

Custodial interference is a direct violation of the court’s orders, and in some situations, it may qualify as abduction or kidnapping. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side during these circumstances. The Manhattan and Brooklyn custodial interference attorneys at Randi L. Karmel, PLLC have more than twenty years of experience and can handle your case with the empathy and effectiveness needed to ensure that you will get the best possible outcome.

Criminal Implications of Custodial Interference

Custodial interference is a crime and the parent who partakes in custodial interference can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

  • Misdemeanor: Under New York Penal Law § 135.45, you could be charged with custodial interference in the second degree if you take a child from his or her legal custodian and you:
    • Are a relative of the child (16 years or younger),
    • Intend to keep the child permanently or for an extended period of time, and
    • Have no legal right to do so
  • Felony: Under New York Penal Law § 135.50, you could be charged with custodial interference in the first degree if you commit the crime of custodial interference in the second degree and:
      • Permanently remove the victim from the state, or
      • Expose the victim to a risk that safety will be endangered or his heal impaired

Custodial interference is punishable by jail, depending on the specific circumstances. The court’s decision for custody arrangements is made in the child’s best interests, and any deviation or medication from that order without prior approval could harm the child’s future.

Other Forms of Custodial Interference

There are other forms of custodial interference other than not letting a child see their other parent. Other forms of custodial interference include:

  • Limiting a child’s phone contact with their other parent
  • Preventing a child from talking on the phone to their other parent
  • Influencing a child against the other parent (parental child alienation)
  • Visiting a child during non-visitation times

There are certain circumstances where forms of custodial interference are warranted:

  • To protect a child from danger
  • When bad weather conditions render it impossible to allow contact with the other parent
  • Taking the child on vacation (as-long-as there was an agreement before the trip)

How an attorney can help with custodial interference

If you are experiencing custodial interference, you are within your legal rights to report the situation to the court or law enforcement. It is helpful to have an experienced lawyer by your side to help pursue legal action for custodial interference.

Our qualified child custody attorneys at Randi L. Karmel, PLLC have over twenty years of experience dealing with family matters and resolving conflicts arising out of family law. It is important to have a tireless, compassionate, and effective custodial interference attorney by your side.

Reach out to us today, so that we can discuss how we can best help you. Contact us by filling out the online form or calling 212-755-0224 for our Manhattan office, or 718-923-0877 for our Brooklyn office.