visitation agreement imposes the amount of time that a child spends with each parent.
While the custodial parent is awarded primary custody of the child, the
noncustodial parent is given visitation time.
Unfortunately, some divorced parents are not able to successfully co-parent.
In most cases, custodial parents will prevent noncustodial parents from
seeing their kids for weeks, months or even years to get the other parent
to pay child support or simply out of spite.
If visitation has been established, but one parent fails to follow the
guidelines, the other can take immediate action. Remember, it is possible
to make up lost time.
It is critical that noncustodial parents record of the dates and times
of missed visitation in a document, whether on a piece of paper or online.
If the custodial parent refuses to reschedule the missed visitation, the
noncustodial parent should seek legal assistance from a skilled family
However, noncustodial parents should never withhold child support since
it is not related to visitation. Your child—not the other parent—is
legally entitled to child support that a noncustodial parent is obligated
to pay. Failure to pay child support is considered a violation of a court
order, just like failure to adhere to the visitation schedule.
Additionally, noncustodial parents are not allowed to take matters into
their own hands. Going beyond the scheduled amount of time could result
in kidnapping charges if the custodial parent decides to contact the police.
If the custodial parent fails to follow the schedule and schedule make-up
time, a lawyer can send a letter to the custodial parent, stating that
the interference with visitation is unacceptable and, if this behavior
continues, the court will take action. This tactic often encourages the
custodial parent to comply with the visitation order and schedule make-up time.
If the custodial parent continues to withhold visitation despite the letter,
the noncustodial parent can file a petition in court to enforce visitation
rights. Noncompliance with a parenting order is considered a serious offense
and a judge may decide to make a custody change or have the custodial
parent face criminal penalties.
For more information on child custody issues,
contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff and schedule a free consultation with our Westlake Village family lawyer today.