Ending a marriage in divorce undoubtedly produces a host of social and emotional problems. Depending on the decision of the family court, the parent who loses custody will have to go through an added emotional burden. They have to live without their child or children by their side.
While the law requires the courts to issue decisions primarily in the child’s best interests, the non-custodial parent can seek visitation rights. This will give you the opportunity to spend time with your child. However, there are certain standards you need to meet.
General Requirements for Visitation Rights
Generally, the courts will rule in favor of visitation rights if they think it is in the best interest of the child. Visitation rights are usually granted based on the following grounds:
- You have faithfully observed your past visitation rights, if any
- You have continuous contact with your child
- You don’t have any history of domestic violence directed towards your child, your spouse, or your other children
- You don’t have any history of alcohol or drug abuse
- Your rights as a parent have not yet been terminated
Denial of Visitation Rights
You will not get visitation rights if the court deems that you have not complied with any of these requirements. Many family courts deny visitation rights if there’s reasonable belief that the child might be in danger of physical and emotional harm, or sexual violence.
However, even if the court grants you visitation rights, your partner might still deny you your rights. Some of the reasons custodial parents cite for denying visitations include failure to provide child support, fear of abduction, consideration for the child’s wishes, religious differences, and disapproval of the relationships of the other parent.
Know that custodial parent-initiated denial of visitation rights is illegal.
What to Do When Visitation Rights are Denied by the Custodial Parent
If the custodial parent denies you your visitation rights, take time to talk to them about the reasons. Document these so-called violations. Talk to a family lawyer or child custody attorney who can give you insight on the most viable course of action. Never take matters into your own hands, as the Law Office of Doreene A. Kuffer says the court might as well rule in favor of the custodial parent.
Every parent has a right to see his or her child. If the law granted you time to be with your child, you have the legal right to have it enforced. Otherwise, you can ask the court to make the custodial parent lift the denial of your visitation rights.