When a New Jersey court makes a ruling about child custody matters, it becomes legally binding. If you break that order, you are in contempt of court. Emotions can run high when it comes to your children. You may feel that the actions you take are what is in their best interest. However, if it is in opposition to the order from the court, you could end up in legal trouble.
The New Jersey Courts explains there are several actions you may take that would qualify as interfering with custody and go against your court order. It is very important that you do not try to take the law into your own hands and defy the court. Your better option is to go back to court for a custody modification.
Hiding a child
If you hide your child from the other parent to purposefully not let the other parent see the child or take physical custody, then this is a violation. You also cannot take a child prior to a custody order in an attempt to prevent the court from having jurisdiction over the child. Essentially, concealing your child in an attempt to delay custody or to avoid custody orders is interfering with custody regardless of whether you have a court order or not.
Interfering with custody will get you a criminal charge. It is a crime of the second degree if you hide the child for whatever reason for more than 24 hours or if you take the child outside of the U.S. in your attempt to conceal him or her. It is a crime of the third degree if you do not do either of those things but still hide the child to interfere with custody orders.
You could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 if the court convicts you of interfering with custody. It is much easier to go through the legal channels than to defy the court. If you have concerns about your child being with the other parent, gather evidence and go to court. Do not take the law into your own hands.