Tips on What to Do if the Other Parent Has Denied Visitation with Your Child
If the other parent is not permitting you to visit with your child, you may have legal options to regain visitation rights. Whether or not you have a child custody agreement in place, you may benefit from consulting a child custody lawyer. Below are some suggested steps that you may wish to consider taking if you are being denied visitation with your child.
- Keep detailed notes of the events. Any time you are denied visitation in violation of your child custody agreement, write down the date, time, and brief details of the circumstances of the denial. Do not exhibit anger toward the other parent as they can use this later against you in court. If the other parent is not in violation of a court-approved custody agreement, or if the denial is a one-time event, you are not likely to get the support of the judge. The notes you take can be presented to the Judge by yourself or your child custody lawyer to help your case.
- Talk to your former partner. As difficult as this may be, attempt to meet with them in a neutral location. Ask them why they are denying you visitation to your child, and how you can address their issues. If they are angry with you about something else, they may try to punish you by keeping you away from your children.
- Make a reasonable attempt to address their concerns, provided that their concerns are also reasonable. If their issue is that they do not feel your home is safe, may every effort to fix those issues. The more objective you can be, and consider the best interests of your children, may help you to come to an agreement with the other parent.
- Consider consulting a child custody lawyer to discuss your legal options.
If you do not have a formal child custody agreement in place, a lawyer from our firm can help you formulate an agreement and represent you in court. If you do have a custody agreement and the other parent is violating their part of the agreement, your child custody lawyer can petition the court on your behalf. The agreement is legally binding and there are ramifications for violating a judge’s order. If there is a documented pattern of visitation denials, your lawyer can file what is known as a “motion of contempt” with the court. Depending on your circumstances, your lawyer might recommend filing a motion with the court that requests them to modify the child custody agreement, enforce it, or issue a sanction against the other parent to force them to comply.
Calling the police usually has little effect in trying to gain access to your children when your visitation is denied. However, they can file a report after they respond to your call, which you can include in the documentation you present to the court. It’s important to remain calm, and remember that if you express anger or other strong emotions, that information will likely be included in the police report.