What Happens When a Parent Interferes with the Other Parent’s Visitation Rights?

By December 31, 2020 Child Custody

What Happens When a Parent Interferes with the Other Parent’s Visitation Rights?

Unfortunately, some parents do not try to successfully co-parent with their ex, even though it is what’s best for the child. One parent may try to prevent the other from seeing their child and many parents accept this behavior, not realizing they have options. The compassionate child custody attorneys at Destiny Law in Little Rock have experience navigating these complex issues and can help protect your parental rights in visitation matters. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What is Considered Child Visitation Interference?

When two parents split custody of a child, they will often create a parenting agreement that can include a wide variety of details such as which parent will have primary custody, specifics on the other parent’s timesharing, as well as procedures for the handling of potential changes to the arrangement. These agreements may be informal, but having a court-approved agreement will help you enforce your rights under the plan. Child visitation interference occurs when one parent’s court-ordered parental time rights are denied or obstructed.

Interference may include when one parent:

  • Fails to drop the child off at a scheduled time
  • Cancels visitation days
  • Physically prevents the child from seeing the other parent by
    • Taking the child without permission
    • Refusing to return the child
    • Moving the child to another state in violation of a court order

What To Do if Your Ex is Interfering with Your Visitation Rights

One parent can’t obstruct or deny the other’s parenting time and visitation rights, even if the other parent has fallen behind on child support payments. If one parent does not follow the visitation schedule, visitation time can and should be made up. Specific make-up dates can be scheduled between the parents. Be sure to document the dates and times of missed visitation.

If one parent will not schedule make-up dates, withholding child support is not allowed. Child support and visitation are not related; as the paying parent, you are obligated by law to support your child. If you stop paying child support, you are violating the court order and may be subject to serious consequences such as court fees and jail time. Whatever you do, do not stop making your court-ordered child support payments on time, if at all possible.

If your ex is violating the court-ordered visitation agreement, you will need to file a petition in court to enforce visitation rights; you may also need to make changes in your court order. The Little Rock family law attorneys at Destiny Law can provide expert guidance on the best way to protect your parental rights and your relationship with your children.

Consequences of Denying Child Visitation

If you deny child visitation with the other parent, you could be served with a Motion for Contempt. If you are found to be in willful contempt of the court-order you could be assessed court fees, attorney fees for the other party, jail time, and/or loss or reduction of visitation/custody. If you remove a child from the state in violation of a court-order, you could be facing criminal charges, depending on the circumstances. Unless your child is in a potentially risky and dangerous situation with the other parent, you are obligated by a court order to facilitate the other parent’s visitation. If your child is in a potentially risky and dangerous situation while visiting with the other parent, the appropriate way to handle the situation is to file a Motion to Modify Visitation with the Court.

Violating the child visitation order can result in the court:

  • Ordering “make-up” parenting time
  • Having the offending parent pay for education and counseling
  • Imposing fines, court costs and attorney’s fees on the wrongdoing parent
  • Temporarily or permanently changing the visitation order
  • Ordering the arrest and imprisonment of the interfering parent

Little Rock Family Law Attorney

If your child visitation rights are being denied, the experienced family law attorneys at Destiny Law can help protect your parental visitation rights and ensure that you get to spend time with your children. Schedule your consultation with our child custody attorneys in Little Rock.

Contact Our Child Custody Lawyers