How to Enforce a Child Visitation (Parenting Time) Agreement
If you and a former spouse or partner have children together, it’s important to have a sound child custody and visitation (also known as parenting time) agreement in place to protect the best interests of both you and your kids. It’s typically best if you can maintain an amicable, productive relationship with your kids’ other parent, especially when it comes to visitation and parenting time.
However, the dynamics of these arrangements can be difficult to maintain, and you may find yourself in a situation in which you must take action to enforce a visitation (parenting time) agreement.
Asserting your rights as a parent
One of the most common scenarios in these disputes is one parent failing to allow the other visitation (parenting time) rights to the children. If, for example, your former partner refuses to let you see the kids, you should speak with a family law attorney to explore your options.
You and your lawyer may take a number of actions, including writing a formal letter to the other parent, engaging in mediation to resolve the dispute or taking your case to court to force action.
In some situations, the other parent may be held in contempt of court if he or she is not following the court order and has no valid reason for doing so. In fact, it’s even possible that the parent violating the visitation (parenting time) agreement could even face fines and/or jail time — although that not a common outcome. But courts often will award compensatory time and if the denial of visitation warrants it, a court could consider changing the visitation schedule permanently.
Generally, a parent is only allowed to withhold visitation from another parent if he or she has good reason to believe the children would be in danger in that person’s custody. Being involved in a disagreement or dispute with the other parent is not enough reason to refuse to let the other parent see his or her kids.
If you could use further guidance and advice on a parenting time or visitation issue, speak with a skilled Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.