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Interference with child custody or visitation

When parents in California divorce, their top priority is usually the well-being of their children. As a result, spouses are often conscientious about negotiating a fair and equitable custody and visitation agreement. Parents should also be careful about respecting the terms of that arrangement.

There are some situations, however, when parents feel that their custody and visitation rights are either unfair, difficult to comply with or are no longer reasonable given the current circumstances. For example, a parent who has visitation rights on weekends may feel as if their children would benefit by having equal time with each parent. In other cases, one parent may worry about the ability of the other parent to supervise the children properly.

While these frustrations are understandable, some parents make mistakes in trying to address them. For example, one parent may refuse to pay child support until the ex gives them more time with the kids. Another tactic is to refuse to return children to their custodial parent or allow a child to visit a noncustodial parent.

Family courts take a dim view of such behavior, and a parent who violates a child custody agreement may face civil penalties and even criminal charges. Such consequences are particularly unfortunate as they may cause distress to the child and make a difficult situation worse.

A parent who is concerned about their custody agreement or the well-being of their children, may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer could review the client's case and make recommendations regarding possible strategies for obtaining a custody modification from the court or renegotiating the terms of the custody agreement directly with the other parent.

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