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What Happens if Your Ex is Withholding Child Visitation?

When parents get a divorce, they must follow court orders regarding divorce-related issues, including child custody and visitation. If you and your ex have a contentious relationship, there is a possibility they could attempt to deny you visitation that is your right as a parent.

This may happen for a variety of reasons, including retaliation for past actions, anger or resentment, or a belief that you are not capable of caring for the child.

Unless a child is in imminent danger, a parent does not have any recourse to withhold visitation. If your ex attempts to do so anyway, you might wonder what you can do to enforce your right to spend time with your children.

There are a couple methods of resolving disputes that should be your first avenues to take:

  • Talk to your ex: See if you can come to a resolution without getting the courts or other powers that be involved. This can be understandably difficult if you have a rocky relationship with your ex already. But it’s the best option in terms of encouraging future communication and coming to a swift resolution.
  • Mediation: You and your ex may be able to resolve the problem through mediation. This is a path that gives you more control over the outcome and again allows you to practice positive communication.
  • Court: Your last resort should be going to court to request a modification of the custody or visitation order. Judges can modify custody awards to give noncustodial parents more rights to visitation, and also enforce existing orders to prevent your ex from withholding visitation.

Calling the police is only a feasible option if your child’s wellbeing is at risk. Otherwise it will likely only escalate a situation you may have been able to work through with one of these other avenues.

For more tips about how to handle child custody and visitation disputes, contact an experienced Minneapolis divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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