A common question that gets asked a lot is when can I deny visitation? What follows are both what I would consider bad excuses for denying visitation and good reasons for denying visitation.
Bad excuses for denying visitation:
- The other parent is behind on his child support order;
- The child has extracurricular activities planned (i.e. wants to go to a birthday party of a classmate and other parent won’t take her);
- The child doesn’t want to go and the custodial parent doesn’t want to force visitation;
- The child is sick;
- The child isn’t home;
- The child has plans with extended family in from out of state;
- The child doesn’t have clothes or toys at the visiting parent’s home; and
- The child has misbehaved and/or is grounded.
Good reasons for denying visitation:
- The visiting parent has just been arrested for drugs, alcohol, assault or some other crime and is not available to exercise visitation;
- The visiting parent has been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility;
- The custodial parent has received a court order that restricts the visiting parent’s visitation;
- The juvenile office has intervened and advised the custodial parent not to allow visitation to occur;
- The custodial parent has a solid basis for believing and can explain said reasons to the judge that the visiting parent is impaired to such a degree that the visiting parent cannot adequately protect the child or provide for the child’s physical health or emotional safety; (example: it’s obvious that the visiting parent is drunk or high at pick up and intends to drive with the child in the vehicle);
- The visiting parent has failed a drug test; or
- There has been a hotline call and Children’s Division has advised the custodial parent not to let the child go on the visit.