Can a Parent Refuse Their Ex-Spouse Visitation Without a Court Order?

mother with small child

Divorce is an exceedingly painful time for everyone, and just like any painful experience, may also increase tensions between the individuals caught in the pain. However, one thing a parent should never do is try to deny their ex-spouse visitation rights without a court order. Doing so is simply illegal. If you are concerned about your spouse having visitation rights, read this article to the end to learn what visitation rights are and how they can be properly altered. Remember to contact an experienced York County child visitation lawyer if you find yourself trying to handle just such a difficult situation.

What Are Visitation Rights?

In many child custody and divorce cases, one of the parents may receive more rights and responsibilities over the child’s care than the other parent. The parent who is allowed to live with the child and be the primary caretaker is known as the custodial parent, and the other parent, the non-custodial parent.

Usually, non-custodial parents are instead granted visitation rights. Courts believe that keeping a relationship with both parents is in the child’s best interest, and the best interest of the child is the standard to which courts adjudicating family matters are held.

Can Someone Deny Their Ex-Spouse the Opportunity to Vist Their Child?

It bears repeating that, if you deny visitations rights to your ex without a court order, you will have done something illegal. It makes no difference if your ex is non-custodial, they still have visitation rights, particularly if ordered by the court. In a particularly unjust turn, even if you are worried about your child being in immediate danger, you still need to follow a delineated process before you can refuse your ex’s visitation rights.

Fortunately, there are many ways to amend or adjust visitation rights legally as well as many protections afforded to you. For one, you may submit a court petition for modification. For another, you may call the police or child support services, one of the steps you would need to take before legally preventing your ex-spouse from visiting with your child.
Some common reasons, accepted in court, for not allowing your ex visitation rights are:

  • The other parent abuses drugs or alcohol
  • Both parents have starkly differing views on education and religion.
  • One parent was charged with serious crimes like child abuse and domestic violence.

If you have further questions, or you believe you’re being wrongfully denied visitation, please don’t hesitate to contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today. We are here to fight for your rights and protect the best interests of your child at every turn.

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