What To Do If The Custodial Parent Refuses Visitation
When a custodial parent refuses to let their child spend time with the noncustodial parent it can be a frustrating and stressful experience. In that situation, it can be difficult to know what your legal options are to enforce your visitation rights with your child. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay our experienced divorce and family law attorney is here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Establishing Your Right to Visitation
The first step in any visitation refusal case is ensuring that your rights are established as the noncustodial parent. For fathers, this begins with establishing paternity of the child in question. Once paternity is established, a parenting plan can be developed and submitted to the court that has an established visitation schedule between the parents. Once approved by the court, it becomes legally binding, which means that if a parent refuses to abide by the parenting plan they can face legal consequences.
Your Legal Options for Enforcement
If visitation rights have been established and the custodial parent is refusing to allow the noncustodial parent to spend time with their child, there are a couple of different options for enforcement of the time sharing parenting plan. The first step should be to try and communicate with the custodial parent about why visitation is being withheld and attempt to resolve the issue outside of the court. If the custodial parent refuses to be reasonable and allow visitation, the noncustodial parent has legal options that they can pursue.
The first option is to seek a Contempt of Court order against the custodial parent. The custodial parent is summoned to court to explain why the child is being kept from the noncustodial parent. If there is no good reason for the refusal, the judge can find the custodial parent in contempt and sentence the parent to jail time, issue fines, and order that the time missed be made up with the noncustodial parent.
Another option is for the noncustodial parent to seek a modification of the custody agreement. A modification could request that more time be spent with the child or that primary custody be awarded to the noncustodial parent. The noncustodial parent must be able to show a substantial change in circumstances in order for the court to approve this type of request.
What Not to Do
One thing that a noncustodial parent should not do is refuse to pay child support until visitation resumes with the child. Child support and child custody are two entirely separate issues, and the noncustodial parent can get in significant trouble with the court if they fall into arrears on support payments. Talk to a lawyer to learn more.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
Are you struggling with visitation? The knowledgeable Tampa family attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III understand how difficult this situation can be and are here to help. Call the office or contact us online to schedule a evaluation of your case and learn more about your legal options today.