Child custody and visitation agreements and orders provide guidance to parents with regard to access to their children. Parents may not always agree with these arrangements, but they must adhere to them while they are in place. Those who seek to interfere with another parent's custody or visitation rights may wind up facing serious legal trouble.
In California, it is a criminal offense to keep a child away with the malicious intent to deprive a parent of his or her right to custody or visitation. This may include refusing to return a child to his or her custodial parent after visitation, but it can also mean enticing a child to stray away from the custody and visitation arrangement that is in place. The penalties for this crime can be severe, too, including up to a year in jail and a hefty fine.
It is understandable that some parents would disagree with a custody order or a visitation arrangement. However, the proper way to seek to remedy the situation is to file for some sort of child custody modification or a modification of visitation. By doing so, a parent gives himself or herself the opportunity to put forth evidence and legal arguments in an attempt to persuade a judge to make a change. Such modifications are a common occurrence, so there may be a reasonable chance of success, depending on the circumstances. This is a much better route than trying to use one's own devices to work around child custody and visitation arrangements. After all, a criminal conviction could be used to modify custody and visitation in opposition to that parent.
Dealing with family law issues can be emotional. However, parents need to ensure that they are acting in a way that furthers the best interests of themselves and, more importantly, their children. By speaking with an experienced attorney, those who find themselves dealing with custody and visitation issues may be able to develop a legal strategy that can successfully further those interests.