Proving right of possession and suit for damages – A parent involved in a superior right of possession case will undoubtedly be more focused on doing all they can to get their child back home where they belong as opposed to worrying about the financial expenses incurred from seeking legal help. But if they choose to, they can seek monetary relief by filing a suit for damages against the interfering party.
This is a huge option for the plaintiff. In the past, a parent would not only be forced to shoulder the full cost of the court case, but also the expenses involved in locating the child. Now, expenses can be passed on to the respondent.
There’s still a burden of proof
Legally, burden of proof is defined as the duty placed upon a party to prove or disprove a fact. Burden of proof is a huge hurdle in any court case, and typically falls on the shoulders of the plaintiff. A person who has proven possessory right to a child must prove the person they are seeking damages from did either of the following:
- Intentionally interfered with the parent’s court-ordered right of possession or access to the child
- Aided or assisted someone who interfered with that right
Intentionally interfering with someone’s possessory right to a child can involve everything from illegally retaining possession of a child or concealing the child’s whereabouts. A person who aides or assists someone with these actions is just as wrong in the eyes of the law and is jointly and severally liable for damages.
Below are a few of the actions that can be construed as aiding or assisting:
- Being present at the time of and after the child has been taken
- Providing the person who took the child with financial assistance, transportation, or a place to stay
- Showing disinterest in the fact that the child has been taken
- Delaying, colluding, or hindering the discovery and search for the child
- Concealing information, especially if it involves potential child abuse
To read more about this, refer to our blog on how to enforce superior right of possession of a child and another post on what to do if you are the respondent in a return of child case.
It is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your situation. Give Nelson Law Group, PC a call. Our friendly staff is here to help you in any way we can. For more information about Brett A Nelson, click here.