One of the most common questions that I receive within the area of family law is: “What should I do if my child’s mother or father is denying me visitation?”
There are so many mothers and fathers who are being denied visitation, or if they are allowed to visit with their child, they must move mountains in order to appease the other parent and make the visitation convenient for them in every way. They feel as though it would be easier to schedule a weekend with Barack Obama than it would be to schedule a weekend with their child.
So what should you do if you are in this situation? The answer is……it depends.
What I would need to know is whether there is a custody order already in place. If the answer is no, the only way the non-custodial parent can enforce their rights is to file for custody in the court of proper jurisdiction. A custody order will outline the type of custody the parties have, the visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent, and the rights and obligations of the parties with regard to co-parenting. This way each party knows what is required of them.
If you already have a custody order and the other party is not abiding by one or more provisions in that order, you need to take the appropriate steps to enforce the provisions in that order. The most common remedy available to the non-violating party is to file a contempt action or request that a show cause order be issued against the violating party.
Once a contempt action has been filed or a show cause order issued, a court date will be assigned to the parties and the judge will hear arguments and receive evidence regarding that person’s alleged violation. If the court determines that the violation was willful and without just provocation, the violating party could be fined, incarcerated, or suffer other just remedies that the court may impose in its discretion. Depending on the language of the order, the provisions of the order may also be enforced by simply calling law enforcement and simply showing them the order.
For more info on this topic, please check out “5 steps to enforcing your visitation rights” and also sign up for our monthly newsletter where you will receive related articles, videos, and legal tips each month. Hope this information has been informative and helpful to you and your family. Feel free to give me a call if I assist you today.
Zshakira J. Carthens, Esq.
“But not for lack of knowledge”
Disclaimer: This information is meant to educate our audience and help them make better decisions when faced with complex legal issues. Every individual’s situation will be different and you should always seek the advice of an attorney in order to receive specific advice based on your unique circumstances.