Family courts order visitation to encourage non-custodial parents to have regular and consistent contact with their kids. In some instances, however, what appears to be justifiable on paper is not really that reasonable in reality.
This can leave many custodial parents wondering if they could deny or refuse visitation.
So is refusing visitation acceptable?
You could refuse visitation if you strongly believe that your child is in imminent harm. To illustrate, you feel and truly think that the other parent is abusing your kid sexually and physically. In some cases, you could deny visitation if the living conditions of the other parent could be deemed dangerous.
For example, if he or she lives in an area with a high crime rate, this qualifies. Additionally, know that you’re not legally obliged to force your child to come to visitation if he or she doesn’t want to.
However, while denying visitation is prudent if you really have reason to believe that there’s imminent harm to your child, there’s a risk that the court could hold you in contempt.
That said, consider the risk of being held in contempt and the potential gravity of your child’s situation to help guide you.
What to do after denying the other parent visitation
If you and the other parent have a relatively amicable relationship and you feel that he or she could make some adjustments to address your concerns, try communicating first. Otherwise, you must file a request with the court to have your current child custody order modified.
If the court agrees to your modification request, they will include specific corrective actions, like requiring the other parent to attend alcohol or drug counseling or move to a safer, more kid-friendly area.
In case you don’t have a court-ordered custody arrangement in place just yet, this is probably the best time to take the matter to court and establish a formal agreement.