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Murfreesboro Custodial Interference Attorneys Protect Your Rights When Custodial Interference Occurs or is Alleged

What is custodial interference?

When the parents of children get divorced, part of the process involves a child custody determination. This determination spells out the responsibilities, custody, and visitation rights of both parents. Alternatively, instead of a custody determination, the mother or other person may be granted custody under a variety of conditions. Regardless of the exact type, these are important agreements that give the state some assurance that the best interests of the child are respected after divorce.

So, the state of Tennessee takes a dim view of family members interfering with the custody determination or similar arrangement. This is a criminal act called custodial interference. Not only the parents, but adoptive parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nephew or nieces can be charged with custodial interference. If someone unrelated interferes with child custody, they may be charged with kidnapping. At Dotson & Taylor our Murfreesboro custodial interference attorneys work hard on your behalf to make sure that minor mistakes in the aftermath of divorce don’t result in criminal liability.

Types of custodial interference

The law considers the following conduct to be custodial interference:

  • Removal: Taking the child out of state knowing that the child is subject to a custody determination or similar court order.
  • Detaining: Keeping the child away from a parent after a lawful period of visitation has expired.
  • Harboring: Sheltering or hiding the child, knowing the child was unlawfully obtained in violation of a custody determination or similar arrangement.
  • Accessory: Acting as an accessory to any prohibited conduct.

Acts of removal, harboring, or being an accessory can also apply to incompetent persons over the age of 18 under court-ordered custody.

What if I’ve been charged with custodial interference?

The time after a divorce can be stressful and exhausting, and many divorced parents or relatives find themselves in new situations with respect to the relationship with the child. There are defenses available if you’ve been charged. First, if you removed a child in violation of a custody order, but reasonably believed that not removing the child would result in a clear and present danger to the child, then this is a defense. Second, in some cases it may be a defense if you voluntarily return the child before being arrested, or the issuance of a warrant for your arrest. If you are facing custodial interference charges, contact our skilled Murfreesboro child custody attorneys immediately for help. Likewise, if another party is attempting to interfere with your custody rights, rest assured we will protect your best interests and your rights.

Contact an experienced Murfreesboro custodial interference lawyer today

Child custody is an emotionally-charged issue that may cause family members to interfere with court-ordered custody arrangements. Whether someone is interfering with your custody rights, or you’ve been charged with interference, let the Murfreesboro custodial interference attorneys at Dotson & Taylor walk with you through every step of the legal process. With steadfast commitment to you and the best interests of the child, we are a vigorous advocate when it comes to custodial interference. Contact us any time at 615-890-1982 or by e-mail. We represent clients in Murfreesboro and the surrounding counties.