Violating Child Custody Orders in Florida
Child custody and visitation issues post-divorce can get messy and complicated. Violating custody agreements can even be considered a crime when they affect future custody and visitation arrangements, often to the detriment of the involved parties.
For these reasons, you always want to ensure that you are working with an attorney experienced in child custody and visitation matters. This can allow for the establishment of an arrangement that better fits the needs of the particular individuals and families involved, sometimes even preventing future conflict.
Florida Law on Violating Child Custody Orders
Under the law in Florida, anyone—including a parent—who commits interference with custody can be found guilty of a third degree felony. That being said, the law also provides for some defenses, such as when:
- The defendant (parent) reasonably believes that their actions were necessary to protect the child from danger (in terms of their welfare);
- The defendant (parent) was a victim of an act of domestic violence, or had reasonable cause to believe that their actions were necessary to protect themselves from an act of domestic violence; or
- The child was taken away at their own volition (without enticement), without the intention of committing a criminal offense with or against the child.
Protecting your Child Custody Rights
Rather than taking the risk of violating a child custody order or agreement, speaking with an attorney as a first step is the best way to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected. An attorney can help protect your rights as a parent and address any concerns you may have regarding child custody arrangements/visitation. An attorney may also assist with any necessary emergency relief, especially if you and/or your child are in danger or feel threatened. For example, working with an attorney to obtain a restraining order and/or emergency custody order from a judge.
In particular, if you are concerned that your child’s other parent may leave with your child, you may seek an order from the court barring that parent from doing so, without having to obtain notarized, written permission from both parents (or another court order), or requiring that parent post a bond or security in the amount sufficient to serve as a financial deterrent to abduction. If your concern is that your child will be taken outside of the country, there are additional measures that can be taken.
Contact Our Caring, Professional Florida Family Lawyers
Child custody issues are often the most volatile and contentious matters when it comes to family law. Decisions on when, where, and how often parents can see their children can have a lasting influence on their relationship and lives.
When it comes to these highly sensitive issues, particularly when things are volatile, you need to work with a caring, professional family law attorney who will look out for the rights and best interests of both you and your child. At HD Law Partners, our Florida family law lawyers have over 40 years’ combined experience in helping people navigate the (often complex) family court system. We put our knowledge and legal abilities to good use in helping you achieve the best results in your case, based on your family’s individual needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help.