A custodial parent may deny visitation to a non-custodial parent for many reasons. However, it’s essential to understand that this is illegal and will have severe consequences. Non-custodial parents awarded parenting time have a legal right to see their child. Please continue reading to learn what to do if a parent refuses visitation without a court order and how a determined Nassau County Child Custody Lawyer can help you safeguard your visitation rights. 

When Can You Deny Visitation to a Non-Custodial Parent?

Put simply, a custodial parent cannot deny visitation rights to the non-custodial parent without a court order or custody agreement. Even if the custodial parent believes they have valid reasoning for refusing visitation to the non-custodial parent, they must comply with the court order or agreement. Without a modification in the court-approved agreement, any denial of visitation by the custodial parent is illegal.

If a custodial parent believes a non-custodial parent should not have visitation rights, they must petition the court to request a modification to the existing custody arrangement. However, you must demonstrate that a substantial change in circumstances warrants a modification. If you suspect abuse or neglect, you can file an emergency petition to modify the custody arrangement to safeguard the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of your child. You must provide the court with solid evidence of the non-custodial parent’s wrongdoing.

What Should I Do If I am Consistently Denied Parenting Time?

As mentioned above, disobeying a court order is illegal. Withholding visitation from a non-custodial parent will result in significant consequences. If there’s no legitimate reason, meaning there’s no actual concern for the safety or health of the child, a parent should not deny timesharing. A custodial parent cannot refuse to follow the court-ordered schedule. That said, there are options if the custodial parent consistently violates an existing court order regarding a non-custodial parent’s visitation rights.

Visitation rights mean the non-custodial parent has a legal right to see their child. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can help you file a petition with the court to enforce your visitation rights. The court will likely contact the custodial parent, urge them to comply with the visitation order, and schedule make-up visits. If the custodial parent fails to do so, they will face serious consequences:

  • The custodial parent could be forced to pay the non-custodial parent’s legal fees.
  • The custodial parent could be held in contempt of court (fines, community service, and possible jail time).
  • A modification of the custody order or strip the custodial parent of custody.
  • The custodial parent could be required to undergo a parenting class.
  • The court could modify the existing custody order or strip the custodial parent of custody.

As you can see, there are severe repercussions for failing to adhere to a visitation order. Although you may feel tempted to strike back at the custodial parent for preventing you from spending time with your child, you should never withhold child support. If you withhold child support, you will also be violating a court order and could be held in contempt of court.

For more information regarding visitation rights, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to help you protect your parenting time.