There is nothing more frustrating than having a court order for visitation that the other party refuses to follow. One of the big mistakes that you can do in those situations is retaliating by refusing to pay child support to that person who is frustrating your rights to see that child.
Custodial parents can do many things to frustrate visitation rights, for example:
- Disagreeing with the non-custodial parent as to what is “reasonable” visitation, when the order granting visitation rights only states that reasonable visitation shall occur;
- Refusing to follow the order as to what the pick-up and drop-off times are for the child;
- Not allowing the child to be at the predetermined pick-up place for the child. For example, calling in the child sick on a school day when the child is supposed to be picked up at the end of that school day;
- Changing plans at the last minute, and claiming that they have other plans or that the child is sick;
- Disregarding requests for special events that could not have been foreseen when the visitation order was written;
- Disregarding or ignoring the schedules established for visitation in the visitation order; and,
- Alienating the child from the non-custodial parent in order to make the child not want to have visitation.
There are many other ways that the custodial parent can try to frustrate the rights of the non-custodial parent. Some of these tactics can be limited by the proper drafting of a visitation order, and some are just never going to go away if the other party will not cooperate.
Hopefully, you had hired Roy Yunker Law when you initially were in court to have the visitation order entered, but even if you didn’t, Roy Yunker Law can help you enforce the rights that you have.
The way that is done in court is through the filing of a contempt petition in the court where the original order was entered. If the original order was entered in another state, it will depend on where the custodial parent now lives with the child or children where the contempt petition should be filed.
While going through the court process, it is very important that you follow the terms of your visitation order because if both sides are in violation of the order, it is very hard for a court to side with either party in enforcing the terms of the order. It is also critical that you keep paying your child support obligation even though you are not getting to see your child. The easiest thing to prove in court is non-payment of child support, and if you aren’t paying, the court is not going to want to exercise its discretionary powers in your favor.
Once again, you need to understand that the court is looking to do the best thing possible for the child, and the parents rights are a distant second consideration. If you are not on your best behavior, you will not show the court that it is in the child’s interests to spend more time with you.