What Should You Do If Visitation Is Withheld?

17 March 2015
 Categories: , Blog


One of the unfortunate results of a child custody battle is occasional problems with visitation. If the custodial parent is withholding visitation from you, you have the right to take action. Which action you take depends largely on how often you are restricted from seeing your child. 

Occasionally Withheld

If visitation is withheld on an occasional basis, talk to the custodial parent about rescheduling your missed visitations. For instance, the other parent can agree to let you keep the child an extra day or extra hours. 

A good way to avoid conflict about this in the future is to work out an agreement that kicks in automatically when a visitation is missed. For instance, if you miss your weekend with the child due to the custodial parent's inability to follow through with your previous arrangement, you should automatically be allowed to have the child the next weekend.

Keep a journal listing all of the dates and times that the visitations are missed. If you notice a pattern developing, talk to the other parent about modifying visitation. He or she could have a personal scheduling issue that is causing the problem. By modifying the visitation, you can be sure to see your child and he or she can focus on whatever the issue is. 

Consistently Withheld

If your child is being consistently withheld from you, contact a lawyer such as Nichols, Speidel, & Nichols. The lawyer can help you explore your legal options. Your options vary according to your state's laws. 

You might be able to involve the police to have your visitation order enforced. If this is possible, a police officer can accompany you to the custodial parent's home to pick up the child during your scheduled visitation times. 

If you are still unable to see your child, your lawyer can file a motion with the family court. The motion can ask that the custodial parent be found in contempt of the original child custody order. 

A judge can order that the custodial parent comply or face legal action. There is a possibility that if the custodial parent persists in defying the order, you could successfully fall for custody of your child. 

Again, it is important that you document every incident involving visitation problems. Your records could become very important if you want to seek custody or changes to your visitation order later. 

It is important that you do not do anything drastic, such as take the child. Work within the system to resolve the issue. An experienced lawyer can not only help you explore your options, but go to battle for you in court.