In divorce or break up, the law requires co-parents to maintain the bond with their children to minimize the effects of the changes on them. For that reason, the court asks ex-spouses to agree on custody and visitation rights – or it can impose an arrangement that will best suit the minor(s).
Despite child custody and visitation orders, parents still dare to deny the other parent a chance to be with the child. This can be frustrating, and it pushes most co-parents to react on impulse. However, when your rights have been violated, the best thing to do is discuss it with an Orange County family law attorney.
Should I Withhold Child Support If My Ex Won’t Let Me See the Child?
Refusing to pay child support after your ex refused to let you spend time with your child; may sound like the perfect punishment for them. However, it is essential to remember that the money is not benefiting your co-parent, but the minor. What’s more, child support and child custody are not related, and one is not a consequence of the other.
The consequences of skipped payments include wage garnishment, negative credit reporting, tax refund intercept, and bank account seizures. So, fulfill your obligation and sort the visitation interference with the help of an Orange County family attorney.
Are there Non-Legal Options to Enforce My Visitation Rights?
Before seeking legal redress in the Family Court, an Orange County child visitation attorney can help you explore other options. The issue can be resolved through:
The denial of visitation rights could be due to some unresolved emotions from the divorce or break-up. Psychological counseling can help your ex make peace with the situation and take it more positively.
A mediator can intervene between you two, help iron out issues in the current child custody agreement, and modify the arrangement to better suit both of you.
You can meet up with your co-parent with or without your family lawyers and discuss the problem. This way, you can determine why the scheduled visitations haven’t been happening and see whether you can fix it.
What Happens if I Opt for Legal Interventions?
If your ex won’t let you see your child and you don’t want to try non-legal alternatives, you can go the legal way. You have the right to spend time with your children as agreed or as ordered by the judge. The legal options are:
- Asking your Orange County family lawyer to file a petition to enforce the visitation rights. This usually involves a hearing in court.
- Requesting the court to modify the visitation and custody order officially. You, your ex, and your attorneys have to agree to the changes and adhere to them thereafter.
What are the Steps Towards Legal Redress for “Visitation Interference”?
It can be frustrating not to be able to see your child at the agreed time and place. But the best time is to stay calm because a scuffle between you and your ex won’t form the best memories for your child. Here is what you can do:
- Get the court order indicating that you are supposed to be with the minor at that time
- Call the police to write a “visitation interference” report
- Inform a child visitation attorney in Orange County, CA, that you were denied visitation
Note that the offense of visitation interference is not a criminal but a civil matter. Therefore, the police will not take the child from your ex’s custody – they can only do that if the minor faces imminent danger.
What Could Happen to My Ex If I Go to Court?
Records like the dates, time, and conversations of the visitation denial can all serve as evidence for the petition. If you prove that your ex indeed breached the parental agreement, they can face the following consequences:
- Participation in community service
- Compensate you for reasonable expenses incurred in the case
- Pay some or all of your legal costs
- Be required to enter into a bond
- Compensate for the visitation time lost
- Attend the post-separation parenting program
- Vary the primary order
- Sentenced for a jail term
- Pay a fine
What Are My Rights as the Non-Custodial Parent?
As a non-custodial parent, you enjoy the right to reasonable visitation. Usually, the visitation circumstances and the kid’s age determine what is reasonable and what’s not. And if the child’s needs change, the court can modify the visitation arrangements.
The court can restrict your visitation if it affects the child’s emotional, moral, mental, or physical health. However, it will never deny you the right to spend time with your child unless the circumstances are extreme. In case of serious abuse, the judge may order supervised visitation. But your ex should not willfully and without a justification decide not to let you see your child.
When Can My Visitation Rights be Limited?
Your co-parent has to prove that your behavior is detrimental to the minor’s well-being to justify a modification of the visitation order. Limitations can be enforced based on:
Living Arrangements – Sometimes, your relationship with the person(s) living in your house can possibly influence the child’s moral development. In such instances, the child may have to spend overnight visitations at their grandparent’s home.
Penitentiary confinement – Parents who are confined for crimes like killing their spouse may be robbed of their visitation rights. Besides, if one is arrested for disorderly conduct in the child’s presence – followed by hospitalization for psychiatric treatment – they may not be allowed to see the minor.
A California Legal Representative Fighting for Your Rights
If you can prove that your co-parent has intentionally withheld the children from you, there is help for your situation. Out-of-court avenues are great and are worth exploring, but they can fail sometimes. And when they do, you can enforce those rights in court.
Your ex can often come up with defenses to convince the judge that your behavior or lifestyle choice is not ideal for the child. Therefore, it is crucial to speak to a child custody attorney that can aggressively fight for your rights and defend you. Talk to us today.