How to File Interference With Child Custody
- 1). Obtain a verified or certified copy of the current custody order regarding your child or children. You obtain this from the clerk of the court where your divorce, paternity or custody case is pending. Many people do not have a properly verified or certified order--which is what law enforcement will require if a complaint regarding custodial interference is made. A verified or certified copy is an exact copy of the original order that has been stamped certified as being true and correct by the clerk of the court
- 2). File a police report regarding the interference with your custodial rights. When you meet with the police office in regard to your complaint, you need to have a verified (or certified) copy of the current order pertaining to child custody (and parenting time or visitation) issues.
- 3). Make certain that you get a copy of the police report. The law enforcement officer taking the report will give you a case number at the time he takes information about your situation. In most jurisdictions, you can obtain an official copy of the police report in a matter of a couple of days.
- 4). Draft a motion requesting that the court enforce the existing custody order and sanction the individual (usually the other parent and opposite party in an existing divorce, paternity of custody case) for interfering with your custodial rights.
- 5). Include within the motion the specific dates, times, places, and manners in which your custodial rights were violated. You need to be as precise as possible in this regard.
- 6). Prepare an affidavit (a statement made under oath) that outlines how and when interference with your custodial rights occurred. Because this needs to be a sworn statement, you need to sign the document in front of Notary Public. You can access a Notary at a bank or similar type of location.
- 7). Add both the police report and the affidavit as exhibits to the motion.
- 8). Contact the court clerk's office and determine how many copies of the motion need to be filed with the court--in additional to the original. Prepare an appropriate number of copies (plus at least one additional copy for your own records).
- 9). File the motion with the clerk of the court, making sure you get one "file stamped" copy of the document back for your own records. The clerk may be able to give you a hearing date for your motion at the time it is filed. In the alternative, the court may contact you within a few days after you file the motion with a hearing date. Make sure you find out from the clerk whether you will be responsible for providing notice of a hearing to the other party to the case. (Many times, when a person is not represented by an attorney, the court will deal with notice on its own.)
Send a copy of the motion to the opposing party. Utilize certified mail, return receipt requested so that you can confirm to the court that you sent the motion as required.
Provide notice of the hearing to the opposing party--using certified mail, return receipt requested--if the court advises this is your responsibility. The court clerk should be able to provide to you a standard form as to what the hearing notice should look like and the information it needs to contain. The notice contains the date, time and place (specific courtroom) where the hearing on your motion will be held. The notice also needs to contain a statement to the effect: "Failure to appear may result in judgment being taken against you."
Bring any return mail receipts to the courthouse on the day of your hearing so that you can document both the sending of the motion and the hearing notice in the event that the opposing party fails to appear. In such an instance, you are entitled to a judgment in your favor on your motion by default.