What Are Valid Reasons to Deny Visitation
Visitation or parenting time schedules are complex and must be handled with the best interests of the child in mind. If you have a visitation agreement, usually in the form of a court order for child support, child visitation or divorce, it’s important that both parents abide by the courts orders. If you feel there are reasons to deny visitation or visitation with your child has been denied to you, legal advice is crucial. Violating a court order, including a court order for child visitation and child support, is often a contempt of court and may be punishable by jail time.
Reasons To Deny Visitation
Because laws in each state vary and each situation is unique, it is impossible to list reasons to deny visitation. It is always best to consult with a lawyer who specializes in family law and specifically child custody.
If you are in a situation where you feel your child is unsafe with the other parent, seek legal counsel immediately. A good attorney will listen to you to obtain the facts and circumstances of your situation and advise you on a strategy to protect your child and your parental rights.
If, on the other hand, you are the non-custodial parent who is being denied visitation, the answer is the same. You need to consult with a family law attorney that practices in your local area and specialized in child custody matters to give you personalized advice.
In the event of an emergency involving the safety or well-being of your child, you may be eligible to file an emergency petition. This is a special application to the Court explaining the emergency circumstances and asking for direction. Consult with an experienced family law lawyer to determine if this is appropriate.
Many custody and visitation matters never go to trial. Instead, both parents work collaboratively to make an agreement that is in the best interest of the children. The Court should formalize that agreement by entering it as an enforceable order.
If there is already an order regarding child visitation and parenting time entered by the Court in your matter, you can ask for a modification. You must meet certain requirements to file a modification – again consult with a family law attorney who has experience modifying custody and visitation orders. A modification explains the change in circumstances that warrants your request. Because there are different standards in different situations, a consultation with an attorney who will guide you is vital.
Enforcing A Court Order
Your local law enforcement does not enforce visitation or custody orders, but can be very helpful in your enforcement of the order. Consult with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you in how to proceed with enforcing your order.
When To Seek A Family Law Attorney
If you have questions about visitation, obtain legal advice as soon as possible. If you are unsure if you need to consult with attorney, this checklist may help.
This checklist is merely a guide to help you make a decision and is in no way legal advice.
Do you feel visitation is unfairly denied to you?
Are you worried about your child’s safety and well-being when with the other parent?
Are your current pickup and drop off arrangements not working smoothly?
Has the other parent knowingly violated any of the terms of your order or agreement, such as engaging in substance abuse or unsafe driving while with your child?
Do you suspect the other parent is alienating you from your child (telling the child bad things about you)?
These concerns are serious and well worth visiting a qualified family law attorney who has experience with child visitation and child custody matters.
How To Find A Family Law Attorney Who Specializes in Child Visitation and Child Custody
If you need a free or pro bono family law attorney in Texas, the Courtroom Assistance Program may help. CAP provides a free attorney and free assistance to parents and guardians who have a qualified legal situation involving a child.
Whether you have primary custody of your child or are the noncustodial parent, if you’re unsatisfied with your current parenting agreement, contact America Family Law Center. We can help.
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