When Can You Deny Visitation To The Non Custodial Parent?

when can you deny visitation to the non custodial parent

When can you deny visitation to the non-custodial parent?   Even in cases of a healthy divorce, when parents raise a child separately, it can lead to complex situations. You may know what’s best for your child. 

The other parent may feel the same. However, that may, in turn, lead to conflicting interests.

However, research shows that the Court grants custody to the parent who better looks out for the best interests of the child. Therefore, custodial parents may want to stop visitation with the non-custodial parent if they see fit. 

It may be their parental instincts telling them to do so. Maybe it could preserve the child’s well-being or be better for the child’s mental health.

After all, how to win a custody battle is not the bigger picture. The well-being and happiness of the child is.

In This Article

Thus, in this article, we will be answering the following questions.

a.  When can you deny visitation to the non-custodial parent?

b.     Acceptable reasons for custodial parent refusing visitation.

c.      What can happen if a non-custodial parent conducts a visitation violation?

d.  And more!

Through this guide, we will try to provide all necessary information on this matter. Thus, read on right till the end for a complete idea!

Who Is A Custodial And Non-custodial Parent?

The custodial parent is the one to whom the courts reward custody of the child. There are various types of child custody.

Custody may be physical, legal, permanent, temporary, etc. Physical custody means when the child is living with a parent who is also caring for the child. On the other hand, the parent having legal custody has the power to make significant decisions for the child.

The non-custodial parent is the one who does not have the primary custody of the child. Therefore, the noncustodial parent enjoys visitation rights to the child.

What Are Visitation Rights?

The visitation rights allow the non-custodial parent to see the child. They no longer live together on a daily basis. Therefore, visitation rights are important for the child to have a bond with the noncustodial parent.

Thus, the court grants visitation rights to the parent who does not have primary custody. But these rights are reasonable or follow a particular schedule. 

For example, these may be regular weekend visits, holidays, or virtual visits through phone calls and video calls. If the court deems fit, these visits can be of a supervised nature.

When Can You Deny Visitation To The Non-Custodial Parent?

As the custodial parent, you cannot legally deny visitation rights to the non-custodial parent. The law obligates you to follow the custody agreement or court order. 

Thus, the schedule in the visitation rights is the one that you have to follow according to the court order. You cannot refuse visitation to the non-custodial parent, even if you disagree with it.

What Are The Acceptable Reasons For Custodial Parent Refusing Visitation?

When can you deny visitation to the non-custodial parent? Visitation rights are usually set in stone. Yes, the law takes visitation rights very seriously. It’s usually because it’s extremely important for the child to develop a healthy bond with both parents.

Moreover, it can also be unfortunate circumstances, like the parent being financially unable to support the child. Thus, it is the duty of the judiciary and law enforcement to be fair.


However, certain situations may lead a court to suspend visitation rights of the non-custodial parent.

  1. If there’s proof that the non-custodial parent engages in violence or sexual abuse of the child.
  2. When the parent was previously involved in kidnapping.
  3. If the child has suffered emotional abuse from the parent.
  4. If the parent is a drug addict or has a history of drug abuse. Moreover, the suspension can even become permanent if the parent indulges in drug abuse in the presence of the child.

However, it is important to present sufficient evidence to the courts that prove these claims. If the claims are not as severe in reality, the court may grant supervised visits for the other parent.

What Can Happen If A Non-Custodial Parent Conducts Visitation Violation?

When can you deny visitation to the non-custodial parent? We answered that part. Now, let us find out the consequences of breaking non-custodial visitation rules. Legally, it can result in serious outcomes.

  1. The court may reduce or prevent visitation time.
  2. There may be legal penalties like fines, community service, or jail for the custodial parent.
  3. The custodial parent might have to cover the legal expenses of the non-custodial parent.
  4. The non-custodial parent might lose some or all visitation and custody rights.
  5. Moreover, attempting to gain extra time without court approval could lead to losing custody or visitation rights altogether.

What Could Happen If You Deny Visitation Rights to a Non-Custodial Parent?

When can you deny visitation to the non-custodial parent, and when can you not? If a court gives a non-custodial parent visitation right, all parties should respect the order.

Additionally, if the custodial parent disobeys, there are grave consequences. Especially if the non-custodial parent ends up in court, the following could happen.

a.      The court may order the custodial parent to pay the legal fees of the non-custodial parent.

b.     Courts may also hold the custodial parent in contempt of its orders. Additionally, they may face consequences like fines, prison, community service, etc.

c.      The court may even mandate the custodial parent to take parenting classes.

In extreme conditions, the court may order a complete change in the custody order terms. Therefore, denying custody may lead to the custodial parent losing custody.

To Conclude

When can you deny visitation to the non-custodial parent? Is it okay to take matters into your own hands? If you think it’s best to deny visitation, you must follow a court order. However, you can ask for a modification of the order in court.

Thus, if the order is not looking out for the best interests of your child, the modification is necessary.

For cases like abuse or neglect, an emergency modification request is necessary. However, you have to provide solid evidence.

Remember, if your child is in danger, consider reporting to Child Protective Services to limit the other parent’s access.

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.

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