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What qualifies as interference with custody in Alabama?

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce |

Child custody can be a sensitive topic during divorce proceedings, potentially causing subsequent issues even after finalizing the process. There are various concerns when planning details surrounding the child’s life, posing different legal, emotional and social complications. Ideally, co-parents can collaborate and compromise, allowing both parties to spend time with the child. Other times, involved parties can have conflicting opinions, impacting parental rights, family dynamics and structure.

Some disputes can escalate to the point that a parent would take measures to disrupt the other parent’s obligations to the child. When one party does anything to prevent the other party from performing their custodial rights, it can be a form of interference with custody. This violation can be serious, warranting severe penalties. Still, an incident can only be valid in Alabama, depending on the following factors:

  • The interfering party used unethical methods to take, entice or manipulate the child.
  • They are not the child’s lawful custodian.
  • The interfering party committed the violation intentionally or knowingly.

The behavior or misconduct can be a crime if these elements are present. However, an incident might only pass as an offense based on what led to it. If a party did so to control and keep the child from harm, it may not be interference.

Avoiding custody interference charges

As a parent, it can be frustrating when you feel unheard when discussing your child’s welfare. Still, there are better ways to resolve these issues than committing unlawful interference. This violation can be a felony in Alabama, potentially leading to jail time.

Instead of resorting to interference, it is best to seek legal counsel. Doing so can help determine the most appropriate options without facing the risks of criminal charges.