Child Custody Interference

Several situations can be classified as child custody interference, including:

A Biased Judge

Common practice in the United States is that mothers and fathers are given equal opportunity to win child custody. However, judges are sometimes biased when making their decisions. A judge may believe that the mother should always have custody, so long as she is minimally fit—and especially if the child is young or female. Or, the judge may lean toward awarding the father custody, if the father earns a higher income than the mother or if the child is male. No matter the situation, having a biased judge preside over a child custody hearing can be detrimental to a parent’s case.

Parent’s Non-marital Intimate Relationships

Although a parent’s non-marital intimate relationship does not normally affect a judge’s decision about custody, a court may frown upon any non-marital intimate relationship that can make a child feel confused, uncomfortable, or embarrassed. Such a relationship can destroy a parent’s chance at winning custody. Most states require proof that a non-marital intimate relationship has harmed the child, but in some states courts may rule based on assumption, not proof.

Parent Undermining a Child’s Relationship with the Other Parent

Sometimes as a ploy to strengthen his child custody case, one parent may attempt to undermine the other parent’s relationship with a child. The parent might lie or exaggerate so that he appears to be a more fit parent than the other. If the court realizes that such a scandal is occurring, it may view it as an attempt to sabotage the other parent’s relationship with the child and hence be more likely to award custody to the parent who is being sabotaged (as long as he is a more capable parent).

Violation of Visitation Rights

It is very important that a non-custodial parent abides by all visitation rules and schedules - especially if relations with the custodial parent are strained. The non-custodial parent’s failure to be timely, reliable, or consistent can give the custodial parent reason to believe and petition that visitation rights are harmful to the child.

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