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What a parent can do if denied visitation

27140335_S.jpgSome Missouri custodial parents might want to deny visitation to the other parent because that parent has not paid child support, because of issues with transportation or because the visitation schedule is inconvenient. They might also do so because they are concerned about the child's safety or the other parent's relationships. The child might no longer want to visit the parent.

It is important to have a legally binding custody and visitation agreement in place to protect a parent's rights. Many of these points will not be recognized by the court as valid reasons to deny visitation. For example, while there is a system that penalizes parents for not paying child support, ending visitation rights for that reason is not allowed. A parent denied visitation by the other parent should document the situation and try discussing it. It might be possible to resolve the situation by addressing the custodial parent's concerns. A parent may want to consider legal action up to and including calling the police. The parent can also file a motion with the court.

A court might deny visitation if the noncustodial parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol or if the child's safety is in question. To restore visitation rights, a parent may need to comply with court orders.

One way parents might avoid some misunderstandings before they get to the point of one denying visitation to the other is by creating a comprehensive parenting plan with the assistance of their respective attorneys. The parenting plan might include agreements about pickups and dropoffs, and what to do if there are transportation or scheduling issues. Parents might also talk about whether they could use mediation or another method to solve conflict instead of going back to court.

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