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What Should I Do if My Ex Will Not Let Me See My Child?

Child custody and visitation can be a complicated situation. After parents get divorced, children typically reside primarily with one parent while the other has regular visitation. Generally, both parents share time with their children. When your ex will not allow you to see your child, it can be a frustrating situation for everyone. A family law attorney can help you through this problem and assist in making sure that you are able to have regular visitation with your child.

Court-Ordered Visitation

It is important to make sure you obtain visitation through a court order. This will ensure that your ex cannot withhold visitation. Visitation is typically part of a divorce. However, if you were not married to your child’s parent, you will need to take steps to establish paternity. Establishing paternity provides you with parental rights that may not be afforded to you otherwise. You can establish paternity voluntarily or through the court. When you have court-ordered visitation, you can take legal steps to enforce the order.

Visitation Rights: Can a Parent Withhold Visitation?

There are many reasons why a parent may feel justified in withholding visitation of their child. A parent may take it upon themselves to punish the other parent by preventing them from seeing their child. If a parent is late in picking up their child, the other parent may feel they are able to withhold visitation altogether. A parent may feel that the other parent is not as good as themselves or that the parent is causing alienation. Sometimes, a parent may withhold visitation because the other parent failed to pay child support or is behind in payments.

It is important to note that none of these are legitimate reasons for withholding visitation. If a parent feels that the other parent is causing harm to the child or is not providing proper care, they should address the matter by going to court. The court will review the situation and will make a determination regarding visitation. A court order is the only appropriate instruction that must be followed in regard to child visitation.

Follow the Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a document that provides guidance and instructions for parents in matters of visitation and more. Both parents generally agree to the parenting plan, and the judge includes it in the court order. Once in place, parents must obey the rules of the plan. If a parent fails to follow the plan, a resolution can be made through the court. A parenting plan may also provide details for how to make up visitation that didn’t take place. Check your parenting plan and court order to resolve legal custody and visitation matters. Parents may also agree to resolve visitation issues, even if they are not specifically detailed in the court order.

Resolving Visitation Matters

If your ex will not allow you time with your child that is part of a court order, you can take the matter to court. Mediation may be helpful in resolving disputes over visitation and custody. A mediator is a professional who is trained to assist couples with family disputes, including those concerning visitation. Ultimately, the court will ensure that parents are in compliance with court-ordered visitation.

If you are struggling with child visitation or custody matters, do not take things into your own hands. Contact our legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online to request a consultation.

Published July 31, 2023
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