During a divorce or separation hearing, one parent might be granted more custody of the children than the other. This parent is referred to as the “custodial parent,” while the other parent is known as the “noncustodial parent.” In this arrangement, the noncustodial parent may be granted visitation rights under set terms.
But it is not unusual for the custodial parent to deny the other parent visitation rights. It is important to understand that denying visitation to the other parent without the court’s permission is illegal and can result in serious consequences. Here are the out-of-court steps you need to take when you have been denied your visitation rights:
Put down your concerns in writing
Keep a journal of what happened every time your visitation was blocked. Even if you resolve the issue with the custodial parent thereafter, it is important that you have it on record.
Find out why you are denied visitation
Try to find out why the visitation was denied and what you should do about it going forward. It works best when you schedule an appointment where the two of you can discuss this matter without being distracted by the children.
Try to fix things
If your ex’s reasons for visitation denial are specific and “fixable,” make effort to address the concerns and remedy the situation. For instance, if your ex is concerned that you do not have an extra bedroom or bed railing for the kids, talk about your plans for moving to a larger place or adding a bed railing.
Address the issue of boundaries with new partners
Sometimes, your ex may be concerned that your new partner may be an undue influence on the children. In this case, you may want to talk about their expectations and agree on how your new partner will relate to your kids. Having an open discussion on how your children will relate to your new partner can help address concerns that your ex might be having.
Being denied visitation, whether by your ex or through a court order, can be a painful experience. Before deciding your next course of action, you may want to establish why you are denied visitation in the first place and what you can do to resolve the issue.