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When Can You Refuse Visitation?

When Can You Refuse Visitation?

Is there ever an appropriate reason for one parent to refuse to allow the other parent to utilize their Court specified visitation? Under what circumstances is it appropriate to do so? Many parents who are having difficulty maintaining an appropriate visitation schedule that is in their child’s best interests worry over these questions incessantly. The fact is that there isn’t always a good answer.

If the non-custodial parent refuses to appropriately exercise their visitation rights, failing to adhere to the court ordered visitation schedule, the custodial parent has very limited options. You can take the issue back to court and request a revised visitation schedule. You could attempt to communicate with the non-custodial parent regarding the reasons for their failure to show for their planned visitation. It’s a difficult place to be - particularly because the one who constantly needs to get past new hurts with every no show is the child.

In some instances, the problem could persist until the child will actually refuse to visit with a parent who does eventually show for their visitation. If a child refuses a visit with their parent, the other parent should:

  • Attempt to talk to the child to pinpoint their reasons for not wanting to see their other parent.
  • Reassure the child that both parents love them.
  • Explain the basic concept of visitation to the child, but remember that visitation rights are always meant to serve the child’s best interests.

If, as the custodial parent, you wish to refuse to allow your ex to utilize their visitation, there are a few things you should remember before taking any action. You, as the custodial parent, are held to a visitation schedule by the court. There are only a limited number of reasons for which it would be appropriate to veer away from the court ordered visitation schedule:

  • Fear of harm to the child (i.e. suspected abuse of neglect of the child)
  • If your child is refusing, talk to the other parent. If no resolution is possible, you may need to seek Court intervention for assistance as you don't want to be penalized by the Court for not following the visitation order.

If you need additional guidance or information regarding visitation rights and legal decision making power, contact the Arizona Divorce attorneys at Arizona Family Law Attorneys. We have the resources and the knowledge to help you find the best resolution to your situation.


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