Can a Parent Refuse Visitation Without a Court Order in New York?

parent walking with child

When you and your partner divorce or are no longer together, and you receive visitation rights, you may be excited to spend valuable time with your child. However, when their other parent does not allow you to see the child, you may be unsure what to do. If you’re having issues with the custodial parent continuing to refuse visitation despite having no court order granting them the right to do so, you’ll want to keep reading. The following blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and how an experienced Nassau County child visitation lawyer can assist you through these frustrating matters.

What Is Visitation in New York?

When one parent is granted sole physical custody of a child for whatever reason, the other parent may be granted visitation rights. Essentially, this refers to any time the child spends with the non-custodial parent. It’s important to note that despite being determined in the same hearing as a custody arrangement, visitation and custody are considered two separate matters in New York.

Generally, unless the courts have a reason to deny it, parents have the right to visitation with their child. This can be a few hours a week to overnight visits on weekends.

Can the Custodial Parent Refuse Visitation?

If you try to spend time with the child, but the custodial parent will not let you, you may be unsure why. Unfortunately, some parents may be spiteful that the non-custodial parent gets to spend time with the child. Additionally, if you are behind on child support or missed a payment, they may prevent you from your court-ordered visitation time to punish you. However, it’s necessary to understand that the parent, despite having custody, does not have the authority to violate or defy a court order, even if you missed a payment.

The only time a parent is legally allowed to deny visitation rights to the other is if they have a court order granting them the right to do so.

What Should I Do if My Ex Violates the Court Order?

If your ex violates the court order allowing you to spend time with your child, understanding the steps you must take to do so is critical. When this occurs, be sure to document the instances. Whether you have a text message from the custodial parent or you show up to the designated meeting spot and the parent doesn’t bring the child, be sure to collect evidence.

It’s also important to understand that you should not violate the court order in retaliation. Though you may be frustrated, failing to return the child on time or withholding child support payments will only be held against you.

When you need help, Barrows Levy, PLLC, is ready to assist. Our competent family law team has the experience you need to represent you if the custodial parent refuses to cooperate. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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