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What is custodial interference and how can it harm you?

After a divorce, you may notice your ex-spouse deliberately limiting the amount of time you see your children.

This method of alienation, known as custodial interference, is illegal and can damage your relationship with your kids.

Defining the problem

According to the Alabama Judicial System, you can charge someone with interference if he or she willfully entices a child or prevents a child from seeing his or her other parent. The only exception is if the child is in serious danger and interference is the only way to prevent further harm. However, it is unlawful to prevent a child from talking to, calling or visiting his or her other guardian with no suspicion of abuse.

Dealing with the fallout

A parent often restricts time with an ex-spouse in order to manipulate a child’s opinion of his or her other parent. You may miss important school events or other events because your ex-spouse hid information from you.

Limited contact and unexpected visits can also add to your stress, which may put a strain on your relationship with your children. He or she may also hold your child later than scheduled for visits, which can lead to less quality bonding time for you.

Avoiding emotional conflicts

Asking a third party to supervise visits or transfers in order to try to prevent these problems is one way to deal with them. Setting clear boundaries with your ex-spouse is important for you and your child.

Dealing with interference can be difficult since it involves such a sensitive subject. Staying aware of your ex-spouse’s actions and keeping careful documentation of the events transpiring can help prove he or she interfered with your custody arrangement.