One of the most painful events you have gone through is the child custody hearing that granted your spouse sole custody and left you with limited visitation — or parenting time. The few days and hours you spend with your child are critical for you to form a bond that you believe is necessary for your child’s best interests. You know you need to make the best of that time.
However, what happens when your child’s custodial parent denies you the parenting time the court awarded? Precious as those days are, to lose even one of them may mean separation from your child for perhaps an entire week or longer. There may be numerous reasons why your parenting partner is keeping you from your child, and many of those reasons may be violating your parental rights.
Common reasons for refusing parenting time
It is common for a custodial parent to deny visitation rights when the other parent falls behind on child support. If you are late on your court-ordered support, your child’s other parent may be withholding visitation as a form of punishment or to coerce you into making your payments. However, custody and support are separate issues, and the other parent may be overstepping his or her bounds to keep you from your child for that reason. Other frequently used reasons for denying visitation include these:
- Visitation is an inconvenience for the other parent.
- The other parent is having problems with transportation.
- You have a new romantic interest of whom your parenting partner disapproves.
- The other parent says you or your lifestyle are a danger to the child.
- Your former partner is angry with you.
- The child does not want to spend time with you.
If the other parent claims your child is reluctant to go with you on visitation day, you may want to explore the idea that the parent is alienating the child from you. A separated parent may tell your child negative things about you, influencing the child to mistrust or dislike you. This is serious and dangerous behavior, and you would do well to seek legal counsel if you believe this to be the case.
Whatever the reason for your former partner denying your court-ordered visitation rights, it is a good practice to document each example with the date, time and an explanation of what occurred. If you are unable to reach a resolution with the other parent, you may find answers to your questions with a legal professional.