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Criminal charges can result from violating a child custody ruling

When a family court renders a decision about where a child must live, it is very important that both parents follow this decision. In fact, ignoring court-ordered child custody is a criminal offence. Parishes across Louisiana get many calls each year about this issue, and police often need to get involved.

Separation and divorce is undoubtedly deeply emotional, especially when disputes over child custody are involved. Court systems are designed with the best interests of the child in mind, but sometimes one parent may disagree with their rulings. However, if that parent or anyone else violates the court order, they could be arrested on criminal charges.

Under Lousiana law, interference with child custody occurs when a parent intentionally takes, entices or decoys a minor child in contradiction of a court order. If arrested for this, offenders must prove that their actions were reasonably necessary to protect the child’s welfare. This means that taking the child must have been in response real, viable danger should the child have stayed with the custodial parent. If a threat to the child’s physical safety cannot be proven, the noncustodial parent will face legal consequences.

When a court renders a decision, that decision is considered law, and violating the decision is therefore a violation of the law. Divorce may be an emotional event and noncustodial parents may not be happy with the parenting style of the custodial parent; however, without a physical danger to the child’s well-being this is not grounds to violate a child custody ruling. People with questions about how to deal with child custody issues through the Louisiana family court system should contact a lawyer.

Source:, “Interference with court ordered child custody is a crime“, Bobby Guidroz, Accessed on March 19, 2018

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