For divorcing parents of a minor child, one of the most contentious and emotionally-charged issues are those that concern child custody, support and visitation. It's vital that you and your spouse take care to create workable plans to take on these issues, such as visitation arrangements. For the parent who is not awarded physical custody, visitation allows the courts, and the parents, to control when and under what circumstances the non-custodial parent is allowed to spend time with the child. These plans will take the form of a court order, and changing the order or ignoring it altogether can have consequences, so make sure that you have a good understanding of visitation denials by reading on.
Can Visitation Be Denied?
In certain circumstances, the behavior of the non-custodial parent may warrant a closer look at the visitation arrangements. Use extreme caution, however, since making false accusations could put your own ability to spend time with your child at risk. Family court judges do not look kindly upon parents who exaggerate claims of parental wrongdoing for self-serving reasons, and could decide that you are not a fit parent.
Abuse allegations between divorced parents are all too common, but if you suspect abuse you must take action quickly. Immediately contact the police and follow up with a call to your attorney. You must be ready to back up your allegations in the visitation hearing that your attorney will schedule. In some locales, an emergency hearing could be granted.
In a similar vein, allegations of alcohol abuse could also be grounds for an emergency hearing to suspend any visitation orders, at least temporarily. Approach this issue with extreme caution, since a parent that falsely accuses another parent of any type of wrongdoing could actually lose custody themselves
When Visitation Should Not Be Denied
Though some parents may be surprised to learn this, the failure to pay child support is not a good reason to deny visitation. Child support enforcement and visitation are actually two separate issues, and each must be addressed individually. You should go through proper channels and take legal action against your ex, but you cannot deny visitation for this reason. The courts take the welfare of minor children very seriously, however, so the failure to pay child support as ordered could result in severe penalties: everything from wage garnishment to jail time.
Another common bone of contention for divorcing couples is when ex's begin new relationships. No matter how much you may dislike your ex's new significant other, you cannot disallow visitation for that reason. Concerns about drug or other types of abuse must be addressed with police action and visitation hearings.
Minor issues like late pick-ups should never be cause for visitation denial or court hearings, however. It's important for divorced couples to take the best interest of the child into account and resolve these day-to-day issues on their own.
To learn more about the issue of visitation, contact your divorce attorney or a law firm like Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices.
My husband and I had a great marriage for about ten years--that is, until he started cheating on me. I found out about it from a friend, and once I started peeling off the layers of my husband's lies, I realized that we hardly had anything to salvage in the first place. I decided that it would be best to get divorced, but I knew that it would be painful and difficult. This blog is for anyone out there who needs to gather the strength to get divorced. Check out these posts to learn more about the process and how the right lawyer can help.