Suing for Withholding Child Visitation
Suing the Other Parent for Child Visitation
When other measures haven't worked, some parents have tried and are sometimes successful in suing the other parent for denying them from seeing their children. Suing is one way that can be used to try to coerce the other parent into cooperating by awarding money to the injured party. The claims which may be brought if a parent is denied child visitation are:
- Suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress - The injured parent has to show that the other parent intentionally or recklessly acted outrageously and this caused severe emotional distress. Courts have awarded both compensatory and punitive damages.
- Suing for intentional interference with custody or visitation rights -Some states allow this tort but it is more unusual than the one above. This came about since it has been hard to prove outrageous behavior and severe emotional distress. Here the injured parent only needs to prove that the defendants conduct was intentional. Compensatory damages can be rewarded.
- Suing for breach of contract – A child visitation agreement is a contract. If there was a child visitation agreement and a parent has withheld child visitation in violation of the agreement, then the injured parent may sue for breach of contract.
Can I Sue To Extend or Modify Visitation Time?
Yes. The claim most likely to result in an extension of visitation time is breach of contract if the actual visitation time is less than the time given in the agreement. If you wish to amend the agreement to include extra time, you should show a change in circumstances, such as a need for relocation. Extra visitation time can also be given as a remedy for intentional interference with custody or visitation time.
Can I Get Money Back for Expenses I Had for the Child that Could Never Be Used?
Yes, if you've had expenses for the child that could never be used because the other parent withheld the child, it is possible to get such lost expenses back if you've kept the receipts. This claim can be done in a small claims court. This won't change the issue of visitation, but it makes the denial of visitation more expensive and it will hopefully discourage the other parent from this in the future.
Can a Rapist Sue the Victim For Visitation Rights?
Unfortunately, there are 31 states that have a loophole in their criminal and family laws that allow a rapist to sue their victims for visitation rights to the child. Visitation is more likely to be enforced when the state in question follows the idea that the father should have visitation rights if the father is paying child support. There are no federal laws on the matter.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Visitation Issue?
If you are seeking to enforce your visitation rights with your children and are thinking about suing the other parent it is wise to consult with a family lawyer. 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: 01-07-2013 11:36 AM PST