Is Withholding a Child from Visitation Against the Law in Arizona?
Arizona divorcees and those looking to divorce in the near future commonly ask local family law attorneys if child visitation can be withheld from a parent. Unfortunately, it is difficult to prevent your child from seeing the parent you no longer live with after divorcing. Even if you detest your ex-spouse, you do not have the authority to withhold child visitation rights. Your child will still likely have to visit with dad or mom even if you strongly disapprove of that individual’s lifestyle. However, there are some exceptions as detailed below.
What if the Ex is a Danger to the Kids?
If you believe your former spouse is a danger to your children, do not assume nothing can be done to prevent him or her from harming your offspring. Instead, be proactive by reaching out to your divorce lawyer in Arizona for assistance. Your family law attorney will take legal action to prevent your former spouse from harming your children. This action takes the form of filing a motion with the court.
The Court Order
The vast majority of Arizona child custody cases have a court order that details when each of the two parents is to spend time with the children. The court order pertaining to child visitation scheduling is an essential component of the overarching matrimonial settlement agreement. However, if you and your former flame were never married, you might not have any supporting child visitation framework but for an informal verbal agreement.
If an order is officially in place, there is no choice but to adhere to the visitation schedule detailed in that document. If no such order is in place, do not assume you have the green light to sever ties with the ex and your kids. Though you are not legally violating an order, such behavior is unlikely to garner favor with a family court judge.
In fact, there is even the potential for your ex-spouse to file a motion with the court requesting the formal court order. If the judge finds out visitation with the ex-spouse was withheld, the judge might favor that scorned parent in subsequent rulings.
Use the Proper Channels
There are plenty of valid reasons to withhold child visitation. From an ex-spouse’s alcohol or drug addiction to an immoral lifestyle, unpaid child support and even a boyfriend/girlfriend who is a bad influence, there are legitimate reasons to want to keep kids away from another parent. However, it is important that you use the right legal channels with the guidance of your divorce attorney in Arizona to protect your child. Don’t do anything drastic or call the court to complain.
Instead, meet with your Arizona divorce lawyer to determine if it is prudent to file a motion with the court that details why you don’t want your kids around the other parent. The ensuing evidence, character witnesses and in-depth legal analysis will determine whether the court agrees with your request to withhold child visitation from the other parent.
There is a good chance your divorce attorney will successfully advocate on your behalf, convincing the family court judge to rule in your favor. Such a favorable ruling might not completely preclude the other parent from interacting with your child yet it will certainly help keep your little bundle of joy, tween or teen out of harm’s way.