What To Do If You Are Denied Visitation With Your Child

Lawyers are fond of jargon – for the benefit of any attorneys reading this post, understand that I am using the term visitation to mean what child custody lawyers call partial or shared custody.

Make Sure That You Have a Child Custody Order

There isn’t much you can do to enforce your rights, unless you have a court order. It is fairly easy to obtain one, particularly if the parents are in agreement about the custody and visitation schedule. Having a court order gives both parties the security of knowing that it can be enforced. Setting up a regular visitation schedule benefits everyone – particularly the children!

How To Enforce A Visitation Order

If there are problems with the visitation schedule, keep a diary. This allows you to refresh your memory, if at some later time you need to testify about the violations. Problems that repeat themselves are more significant than something that has only happened one time.

If you can, try to work things out. Fighting over custody and visitation isn’t good for anyone. If both parents want to be reasonable, and keep themselves out of court, it should be possible to find a solution. For example, if a visit was missed, a make-up visit could be arranged.

If you need to take the matter to court, you should file a Contempt of Court Petition. This is a civil, rather than a criminal process. A Judge has the power to fine a parent, or even put them in jail if someone repeatedly defies his or her orders;this is usually reserved only for the most serious cases.

Most Judges believe that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents.

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