An unfortunate issue that parents face after a divorce is the denial of visitation by the custodial parent.
When child custody orders outlining visitation rights are not followed, it can be detrimental to the child caught between his or her disagreeing parents.
When this happens, it’s recommended that parents being denied visitation discuss the situation with a family law attorney who can assist in having the original custody orders enforced by the court.
Violation of Child Visitation Orders Is A Serious Offense
A child custody order assigned by the family court is a legal directive that requires both parents to adhere to the conditions that are stated in that document.
One such enforceable item within the custody order is that of visitation, as it is very important that children of divorced parents be able to spend time with both their parents, not just the custodial parent.
As such, it is against the law for any parent to deny visitation with the other parent as it is outlined in the custody order.
How Does the Court Enforce Child Visitation Orders?
If one parent refuses to abide by the official custody order and denies the visitation of the other parent, it may become an issue that requires the assistance of the court.
Initially, parents should bring the issue up with his or her child custody attorney to determine whether a violation is occurring.
If a determination of denial of visitation is made, mediation is usually recommended to resolve the issue.
When mediation cannot resolve the issue, requests for legal enforcement of custody orders can be brought before the court for consideration.
When the court is forced to intervene and the requesting parent can prove that such a denial is occurring, the court may decide that the denying parent is in Contempt of Court.
Depending on the specific circumstances, the denying parent may be punished by the court with fines and even incarceration in more severe instances.
What Should Parents Being Denied Visitation Do?
Any parent being denied visitation of their child who feels that the custody order needs legal enforcement should contact his or her custody lawyer to discuss the situation and decide how to proceed.
If the decision is made to file a motion requesting legal enforcement of visitation orders, parents must first collect necessary evidence of this accusation:
- Times and dates when denials were made.
- Proof that the denied parent is attempting to abide by the visitation order.
- Testimony from witnesses that supports claims of visitation denial.
- Records of attempts to work out visitation issues that go unacknowledged.
- Other supporting evidence.
It is also necessary to serve the denying parent with a notice of legal action being taken against them in the form of a Return of Citation as well as an Order to Appear for a hearing once a date is set.
Both parents must then appear in front of the court for a judgment; the denying parent can be charged with contempt if they fail to show up at the hearing.
Visitation Orders Are Court Enforced Child Custody Orders
Unless otherwise noted by the family court, every parent retains the right to visit with their child in accordance with the filed child custody order.
Parents who deny their ex-spouses visitation with children are in contempt of the family court and can be punished in various ways.
Regardless of the situation, it is illegal for a custodial parent to prevent the non-custodial parent from their court-ordered visitation time.
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803