Denial of Child Visitation
What Can I Do if I'm Denied Visitation?
The custodial parent sometimes interferes with child visitation and forces the non-custodial parent to seek alternative ways to maintain the parent-child relationship. If there is a visitation agreement in force, this is illegal and can have serious legal repercussions for the parent who denies visitation.
Can I Deny Visitation If It is in the Child’s Best Interests?
No, denying visitation for any reason is against the law. If a parent has a problem with the conduct or behavior of the other parent, he or she should use the legal system to address that behavior rather than violating a court order.
Below is a list of common reasons parents choose to deny visitation. None of these reasons is a legally valid reason to deny visitation. The appropriate legal response to these situations, however, is given in parenthesizes next to the reason.
- To obtain child support (go to court to obtain or contest child support).
- Disapproval of other parent’s relationships, such as a new spouse (move on or go to court).
- Drug or alcohol abuse (call police in extreme cases)
- Child abuse (call police and/or child protective services)
- Incarceration (go to court to modify visitation agreement)
- Fear of Abduction (call child protective services and then go to court)
- Religion (go to court)
- Child’s wishes (go to court)
Can I Deny Visitation If There Is No Visitation Agreement?
Legally there is nothing wrong with denying visitation if there is no visitation agreement. However, if the person being denied visitation is a biological parent, you should have a very good reason for doing so and you should be prepared to present those reasons in court. If no such reasons exist or if the reasons presented are superficial or shallow (I broke up with the parent recently is not a good reason), the court may place a penalty upon the unethical behavior.
How Do I Enforce A Right To Visitation?
For the non-custodial parent whose right has been denied there are mild, moderate and severe enforcements of the right to visitation.
- Mild enforcements are: filing a police report, modifying the visitation judgment to exactly specify the time and place of visitation, award make-up visitation and family therapy or mediation
- Moderate enforcements are: supervised visitation, having a third party responsible for overseeing visitation and award of attorney's fees
- Severe enforcements are: contempt proceedings, court permission to withhold child support, change of custody and suing the other parent for hindering visitation
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Visitation Issue?
If you are seeking to enforce your visitation rights with your children, it may be wise to consult with a family lawyer to discuss how to go further. Working with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you deal with the complicated legal system.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 01-14-2014 12:27 PM PST
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