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Legal Statutes: Arkansas

UPDATED September 15, 2017

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Subchapter 5. Custody and Visitation

back to top5-26-501. Interference with visitation

(a)(1) A person commits the offense of interference with visitation if, knowing that he or she has no lawful right to do so, he or she takes, entices, or keeps any minor from any person entitled by a court decree or order to the right of visitation with the minor.

(2) A person claiming interference with visitation shall provide a copy of the signed court order or decree regarding custody or visitation rights to a law enforcement officer as proof of the interference with visitation.

(b)(1) Interference with visitation is a Class C misdemeanor.

(2) However, interference with visitation is a:

(A) Class D felony for any offense if the minor is taken, enticed, or kept outside of the State of Arkansas; or

(B) Class A misdemeanor for a third or subsequent offense.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution that:

(1) A person or lawful guardian committed the act to protect the minor from imminent physical harm if the defendant's:

(A) Belief that physical harm was imminent is reasonable; and

(B) Conduct in withholding visitation rights was a reasonable response to the harm believed to be imminent;

(2) A person or lawful guardian committed the act based on a reasonable belief that the person entitled to visitation would remove the minor from the jurisdiction of the court;

(3) The act was committed with the mutual consent of all parties having a right to custody and visitation of the minor; or

(4) The act was otherwise authorized by law.


Acts of 1985, Act 540, § 1; Acts of 1999, Act 1129, § 1, eff. July 30, 1999; Acts of 2007, Act 827, § 33, eff. July 31, 2007.