When your ex-spouse refuses to let your child see you, trouble will start brewing anew. It would seem like you were on that pre-divorce phase again that you would want to kill the other. But if you can only look at the options and think that there is still a way (not to get back at the other, though) for you to get that visitation rights up and going, you will learn not to fret at all!
Visitation Rights Revisited
Visitation rights in divorce refer to the court permission that grants a non-custodial parent the right to visit a child or children. These rights are determined by a court order or in accordance with both party’s agreement.
Once parents cooperate with each other and follow exactly what the court has dictated or what has been agreed upon, visitation rights will stay as a rule. It is in this stage when both parties work on to resolve reasonable terms and times that would work best for child and parents.
If there is no cooperation, then, a detailed visitation schedule is drafted by the court. The details would include visitation frequency, times, and days of pick, as well as return of the child. It also imposes vacation and holiday schedules.
Withholding Visitation Rights
Withholding visitation rights is possible if the child presents enough reason of not wanting to see the non-custodial parent. Reasons may range from the parent being:
- An excessive alcohol user
- Hooked into illegal narcotics
- Verbally or physically abusive
In general, the courts stand to consider the child’s preference on custody or visitation matters. A child’s desire could be granted but the decision will be based on:
- Age of the child
- Maturity level
- What the courts deem as in favor of the child’s welfare
The courts are also on the lookout for undue influence that custodial parents may exert on children of divorced parents over making a decision. But as these children move over towards maturity, they have the right to ask for a change in custody and visitation agreement.
Using Visitation To Spite An Ex-Spouse
Custodial and non-custodial parents sometimes use visitation as a means to spite their spouses. This happens most of the time and it is an existing problem in family law. Here are some instances:
- Refusing a non-custodial visitation
- Making the child available for a non-custodial parent for an appointed pickup schedule
- When a non-custodial parent does not return the child on the set schedule
Denial Of Visitation Rights
A non-custodial parent can file for a lawsuit if the court visitation agreement is refused by the other party. Below are the claims that can be filed:
- Breach of contract
- Intentional interference
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
On the lighter side, the non-custodial parent can request for modification of visitation rights in court.
Asking For Modifications For Visitation Rights
Once a non-custodial parent encounters visitation rights issues, he or she might resort to non-payment of child support in order to change the ex-spouse’s behavior. In this case, the courts will not recognize the reason for non-payment of support.
The courts deem that support and visitation are distinctly separate issues. When this happens, both parents are called back to court to resolve the issue. The ruling court will then create modifications on the visitation rights agreement.
In the course of the meeting in court, one of the former spouses is expected to present clear proof of the change in circumstance or conduct of the other. The evidence to be presented should be a new ground for the rights to be modified. Old evidences do not stand a chance to be heard as ground for modification.
Here are common grounds that could warrant permanent modifications:
- Constant failure in abiding with visitation schedule
- Consistent neglect on the designated time of returning the child
- If the other parent is convicted of a crime
- Teaching the child illegal or immoral acts
Therefore, if you are embroiled in a fierce battle with your ex-spouse, the only chance for you to achieve full custody or obtain permanent modifications on your visitation rights is to find the best child support lawyer near you. This action can help in further understanding your situation better and have the ability of raising happy children in spite of a divorce.