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Contempt of Court. Being held in contempt of court is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. While it is not as simple as giving the child what they want, not returning a child home at the scheduled time if the child doesn’t want to go there does not mean automatic interference with the visitation schedule. The Polly Klaas Foundation is also here to support you and help search for your child. First, let me advise you that you probably won't be able to get your child back right away without drawn-out stress and drama, but you should definitely take these steps as soon as possible: 1. If a non-custodial parent doesn’t return a child back to the primary parent, it is considered kidnapping. Contact a local family law firm as soon as you can. In that case, the judge cannot order a child’s return to you based on the existing order of possession. Infinity Law Group accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Apple Pay for all Family Law and Estate Planning legal services. Available for. What should I do. Categorized: child custody, © 2020. However, if the parent shows up and you are there, you must release the child regardless of how late they are. If you have an attorney, you should contact your attorney. When a Non-Custodial Parent Does Not Return a Child after a Weekend or Holiday Visit. There will be many papers to file and obstacles to... 2. In most states, the courts consider taking a child from his parent with the intent to interfere with that parent's physical custody of the child, even if the that parent also has custody rights, as a crime that is punishable by jail time, according to Myfamilylaw.com. | Disclaimer, Certified Family Law Specialist | State Bar of California | Board of Legal Specialization. Can a Trust or Inheritance be Divided in a Divorce? Get a lawyer. This is a serious legal matter, and you have the right to fight for the safe return of your child and the restoration of your parental rights. Custodial interference occurs when a parent interferes with the rightful parent's physical custody by not returning the child. The short answer is no, a parent can never stop a child from visiting the other parent unless the child is in immediate danger, or the court issues a court order approving this modified custody arrangement to exclude custody or visitation by one parent. If the non-custodial parent is habitually late, you can discuss with your lawyer the possibility that the court might issue an order to the effect that pickup must occur within 30 minutes of the scheduled time or the visit is cancelled (or some other appropriate window). Parental abduction means the non-custodial parent takes the child without permission or refuses to return the child after a designated visitation time. If your children are not returned to you on time, there are several legal actions you can pursue including going to the police with your court order or filing an “Order to Show Cause” with the court in order receive make-up time with your children/receive primary residential custody if your ex continues to show up late. Contact a local family law firm as soon as you can. This, of course, is parent’s worst nightmare. If the lateness is not simply a matter of half an hour to an hour, but you’re actually worried that the other parent might NEVER return the child, then it is time to take actions to protect your child. Call for a Free Consultation for your Massachusetts case. By contrast, if the noncustodial parent fails to return the child to the custodial parent on time or at all, or intentionally and repeatedly violates visitation times, the custodial parent can file a contempt motion. By contrast, if the noncustodial parent fails to return the child to the custodial parent on time or at all, or intentionally and repeatedly violates visitation times, the custodial parent can file a contempt motion. Get a lawyer.. Infinity Law Group LLC, Calculate child support, alimony, and important dates with our Massachusetts Divorce App. What to Do Right Away if Non-Custodial Parent Won't Return Your Child 1. Law Office of Steven L. Fritsch | All rights reserved. Before you panic, remember that the law is on your side and that you have every right to reach out to law enforcement for help resolving the situation. The non custodial parent has attempted to co-parent but the custodial parent doesn't want to hear it and refuses to communicate with the non-custodial parent. Remember what a judge will be thinking - this is about the child and the child's right to be with the other parent. Custodial Interference Can Backfire. Contempt of Court. Failing to inform the other parent of the child’s whereabouts; Taking the child on a long trip without asking for approval first; Taking the child outside of state lines (can lead to federal issues); Allowing an unauthorized person to care for the child; Denying the other parent their custody or visitation rights; Various other violations. The non custodial parent is very concerned and has learned much of the problem arises from the child's home life and not getting his homework done while with the custodial parent. Custodial interference occurs when a parent interferes with the rightful parent's physical custody by not returning the child. A child who is 14 years old can choose to remain at the home of one parent over the other, without custodial interference charges holding up in court. Can a parent keep a child away from the other parent following a divorce? What to Do Right Away if Non-Custodial Parent Won't Return Your Child. 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