When couples divorce, one of the biggest concerns is the custody of their minor children. Even after the court has set up custody and visitation schedules, each parent may still feel uneasy about the situation. It means having to cope with raw emotions, while also accepting that each parent is living a new life. This may create situations in which the custodial parent tries to deny the other parent’s rights to visitation, but, in some circumstances, the parent may be breaking Maryland law.
When is it Illegal to Deny Visitation?
Divorced couples are confronted with bad memories and hurt feelings whenever they come together. That may influence how they co-parent their children. This is especially problematic when the noncustodial parent arrives to exercise his or her visitation rights.
The custodial parent may try to deny visitation based on his or her feelings. The parent may cite reasons, such as disliking the former spouse’s new romantic interest, or disliking where the parent resides. While these may seem like genuinely good reasons for denying custody, they are not. Trying to deny visitation for this kind of reason can end up causing more trouble for the custodial parent.
When Can Visitation Be Denied?
If you’re concerned about a noncustodial parent’s visitations, try to get help. The first thing you should do is express your worries to a family law expert, such as those at The Law Office of Patrick Crawford. They will likely explain that Maryland law requires visitation to present a danger to the child. This means there’s a real possibility that allowing the parent to take the child for visitation will likely result in emotional or physical harm.
If the parent arrives in an unsafe vehicle, that may be one reason a parent can legitimately deny visitation. Another example might be that the child has exhibited signs of having been abused after returning from previous visitations.
As a parent attempting to deny visitation, it’s important to make sure each incident is documented. Taking photographs of the reason for denial may help. In instances of suspected abuse, filing a police report is always a good idea. If you can’t substantiate the reason for denying visitation, a judge may find you in contempt of court. This could result in fines and jail time, depending on the circumstances of the case. The judge may also review and amend the custody arrangement.
If you believe you do have legal grounds to deny custody, you should consult The Law Office of Patrick Crawford. Attorneys experienced in child custody cases may be able to help you resolve the situation. The court always tries to act in the best interests of the child, but it will be up to you and your lawyer to show that visitations go against that objective. Taking the issue of visitation to court may help you obtain an arrangement that’s better for your child. The attorneys at The Law Office of Patrick Crawford may be able to offer you a legal and satisfactory way of changing the custody arrangement.
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