A non custodial parent has a non-absolute right to visit with the marital child after the divorce becomes final. The non custodial parent’s right to visit with the marital child is always judged by the “best interests of the child” as the right entitlement gage. If the court finds that the non custodial parent’s visits with the child are not in the child’s best interests for any valid reason then the court can deny that parent any visitation with the child by ordering a suspension of that parent’s right to visit the child under any conditions or at any time.
Losing Parental Visitation Rights
Courts recognize that it is in the best interests of a child to at least visit with both of his parents after a divorce becomes final. Courts will not deny a parent a right to visit with his or her marital child without some kind of evidence that the visitations are not in the child’s best interests. If the custodial parent can prove that the non custodial parent’s visitations with the child threaten his emotional or physical health and well being in any way then the court will usually act to suspend the non custodial parent’s right to visit with the child.
- Failing to return the child to the custodial parent at an agreed upon time and place
- Visiting with the child while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol
- Threatening the child directly or indirectly during a visitation
- Abusing the child during a visitation emotionally or physically
- Allowing the child to engage in dangerous or risky activities during the visitation period
Parental Visitation Benefits Child
Whether or not visitation with a marital child is in the best interests of the non custodial parent is not genuinely or centrally a concern for courts. Courts only consider whether or not the child would benefit from visiting with the parent. However, the court may not chastise an innocent child for the inappropriate actions of the non custodial parent by taking away parental visitation rights. For example, if the parent does not make his child or spousal support payments the court may not then suspend that parent’s visitation rights with the child because that type of judgment would punish an innocent child by barring him or her from spending beneficial time with a non custodial parents in scheduled visitations. The court must find other ways to punish the parent than by suspending parental visits with the marital child. A court may garnish a parent’s wages or suspend his driver’s license if support payments are not made but usually will not punish the child by taking away parental visitations.
Getting Legal Help
If you or a member of your family has been denied parental visitation rights by a court then it is important that you contact a divorce attorney to discuss the circumstances of the visitation denial and guidance in accessing some measure of court approved visitation with your marital child or children.