4 Steps to Take When an Ex-Spouse Withholds Visitation

After divorce, some parents don’t get along and experience difficulties raising their children together. In many cases, the continuous friction in the relationship may result in the custodial parent withholding visitation from the noncustodial parent for a long period of time. 

However, noncustodial parents have legal options to remedy this issue. Remember, both parties must always follow court orders or else face serious legal ramifications. 

If your ex-spouse is withholding visitation from you, here are four steps to take to enforce the court order and protect your rights: 

  1. Keep track of missed visits – Document every incident of missed visitation, written down in either a calendar, notebook, or somewhere private online. You may use this record to support your case in court. 

  1. Attempt to schedule make-up visitation time – If the custodial parent misses a visit, the court allows visitation time to be made up at a future date. Before considering getting the court involved, try to find an agreement on make-up dates with your ex-spouse, especially if both of you are on relatively good terms. 

  1. Send a demand letter – If the custodial parent fails to schedule make-up visits, ask your attorney to send a letter, warning that if the other parent continues to disobey the existing visitation order, then you will take legal action. The letter should also clarify you are willing to resolve any issues without going to court. 

  1. Ask the court to enforce the order – If the custodial continues to violate the visitation order despite the demand letter, you can file a motion to have the court enforce the order and hold your ex-spouse in contempt. When it comes to enforcement, the court can order the interfering parent to schedule make-up visitation, attend parenting classes, or pay for any costs caused by inference. On the other hand, holding the custodial parent in contempt of court can lead to fines and even jail time. 

Repeated withholding of visitation can also be grounds for a change in custody. However, doing so involves modifying the custody order, which is a separate motion. 

It is important to understand that withholding child support is not the proper solution and can result in legal action taken against you. Child support and visitation are two separate issues and your child is entitled to child support payments, not the custodial parent. 

If your ex-spouse is interfering with visitation in Lawrenceville or Gwinnett County, GA, contact Daniels & Taylor, P.C. today at (770) 285-1673 and let us help you figure out your legal options. 

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