When is it unfair to refuse visitation?

If you're a mother with primary physical custody of your child, it's generally advisable for you to allow your ex visitation per the court's plan -- it is, after all, a court order.

There are, of course, some exceptions to the rules. For example, if you believe that your ex-spouse is high or intoxicated, you wouldn't want to let your children leave with their father -- but you also need to get into the court and ask for an emergency order halting visitation until further investigation can be done.

One thing you cannot do, however, is arbitrarily deprive your ex of his custody rights for what amounts to disagreements or trivial excuses. That could have a serious negative impact on the way the court views the current custody situation and you could find yourself losing physical custody fairly quickly.

If you like the custody arrangement that you have now, take care not to allow the following reasons to become an excuse to deprive your child's father of his relationship with his child:

  • You don't like your ex's new partner.
  • Your child doesn't like the ex's new partner.
  • The child doesn't have his or her own bedroom, play area or other accommodations that you feel are suitable.
  • The child misses his or her friends when at Dad's house.
  • Your child doesn't like the house rules at your ex's home.
  • You don't like the house rules at your ex's home (for example, a later bedtime).
  • You're angry that your ex has missed a child support payment.
  • You're angry that your ex won't pay his share for something extra that support doesn't cover but your child needs, like braces.

If you have a real complaint, take it to court and let the judge make the decision if you and your ex can't work it out.

On the other hand, if you're the father and you find yourself being denied visitation with your child based on arbitrary whims or rules put in place by your ex, it may be time to approach the court yourself and ask for a change in custody.

Source: The Spruce, "Trivial reasons to refuse visitation," Debrina Washington, accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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