Deprivation of Child Custody or Right to Visitation

Posted By Adam Denton, On July 20, 2016

When a couple with children decides to end their marriage, both parents generally get custody or visitation rights with their kids. This is true even if the parents do not get along with each other because it is in the best interest of the child that he or she has both parents in his or her life. What happens if a parent tries to deny the other his or her custody or visitation rights?

The First Step May Involve Calling the Police

If a parent arrives to pick up a child for scheduled visitation and the other refuses to release the child, it may be necessary to call the police. As long as there is a valid custody or visitation order in place, an officer may be able to facilitate a transfer of the child to the other parent. Those who are being denied their right to see their children should never use force or make verbal threats to their former spouse. All that will do is traumatize the child and lead to possible criminal charges.

Ask for Emergency Relief From a Judge

When a judge enters a child custody or visitation order, that order is binding on all parties unless and until a change is made. This means that a parent cannot unilaterally decide to deny custody or visitation rights without the permission of the court. An attorney may be able to get an emergency order that would transfer the child to whichever parent is supposed to be with their son or daughter. The only exception would be is if there was evidence that the child would be in danger if released to that parent.

What If the Child Has Been Taken to Another State or Country?

Typically, both parents will come together to create a plan for how they will raise their child after the divorce. The plan will stipulate how far a parent can move from the child or how far the custodial parent can move with the child. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek permission before moving to another state or country with the child. In the event that a parent moves without permission, he or she may be ordered by the court to return and explain his or her actions. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges such as child endangerment or contempt of court.

A Compromise Is Possible

Legal counsel for both sides may be able to help parents negotiate a compromise solution to their standoff. For instance, the custodial parent may agree to allow visitation to resume in a supervised manner. A noncustodial parent may agree to give up overnight visitation in exchange for additional daytime visitation during the week or increased contact via phone or the internet. If such a compromise solution is found, the judge in the case may enter the modified agreement into the public record, which means all parties must abide by it until further notice.

Research shows that a child is better off with both parents in his or her life. While this may not be good news for mom and dad, a former couple can work together to raise their child regardless of their feelings for each other. With the help of a Manhattan divorce attorney, it may be possible to work out any issues that may arise to ensure that custody and visitation orders are complied with at all times.