Custodial Interference in Connecticut is defined as follows:
In the first degree: Class D felony. “(a) A person is guilty of custodial interference in the first degree when he commits custodial interference in the second degree as provided in section 53a-98: (1) Under circumstances which expose the child or person taken or enticed from lawful custody or the child held after a request by the lawful custodian for his return to a risk that his safety will be endangered or his health materially impaired; or (2) by taking, enticing or detaining the child or person out of this state.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-97
In the second degree: Class A misdemeanor.” A person is guilty of custodial interference in the second degree when: (1) Being a relative of a child who is less than sixteen years old and intending to hold such child permanently or for a protracted period and knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices such child from his lawful custodian; (2) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he takes or entices from lawful custody any incompetent person or any person entrusted by authority of law to the custody of another person or institution; or (3) knowing that he has no legal right to do so, he holds, keeps or otherwise refuses to return a child who is less than sixteen years old to such child’s lawful custodian after a request by such custodian for the return of such child.” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-98(a)
Many police departments don’t enforce Connecticut Custodial Interference – or at least not as often as they should. A police officer may say something like:”Its a civil matter – take it up with a judge.” If you are faced with that scenario you should file a Motion for Contempt immediately. Do not allow a pattern of this type of behavior by the offending parent. Take action. You may also have a basis to file a Motion for Modification of Custody or Visitation if the offending parent has a history of withholding parenting time without justification.
I represent parents throughout Fairfield County including Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.
Contact me online or call my Fairfield office at (203) 259-5251 or my Stamford office at (203) 356-1475 if you have questions about Connecticut Custodial Interference. Or reach out if your parenting time with your child is being withheld by the other parent.