Violating visitation order is taken seriously because the child’s safety or well-being may be jeopardized, such offenses may result in substantial legal penalties. Furthermore, even if the violation results in no injury to the kid, a court may nevertheless impose criminal fines. In order to make the best use of your visitation rights, read the article ahead.

Visitation Orders: What Happens in Case of Violation?

A visitation order is a court-approved agreement that permits a parent (typically the non-custodial parent) to visit a child or have them stay with them for a short time.

When there is a violation of court ordered visitation, it means that one party fails to follow the terms and provisions of a court-approved child custody/visitation order, without first seeking to modify the order in court by filing a petition or complying with the court’s jurisdiction’s requirements.

The following legal proceedings may be brought as a result of a violation of a court order involving child conservatorship:

  • A writ of habeas corpus for the child’s return
  • A charge of contempt of court can be filed against a parent for disobeying the court’s directives
  • Criminal culpability for instances of parental kidnapping, which is a crime
  • Infringement on a parent’s possessory rights might result in civil responsibility

A violation of a visitation order is not always the same as a violation of an informal visitation agreement. A visiting order is usually approved by a court and is legally binding.

In comparison to violations of informal visiting agreements, violations of an order may result in more serious legal penalties and repercussions. A simple agreement between the parties, on the other hand, may not have the full support or authority of the court’s sanction. This is particularly true if the deal was never written down or presented to a judge.

What Is Considered as a Violation of a Visitation Order?

Violations of visitation orders can take numerous forms. Regardless of the amount of the deviation, a court may interpret any action taken that is not specifically approved by a visitation order as a violation.

While state-by-state regulations may differ, violations may include:

  • Visiting the child for an extended period
  • Failure to drop off or pick up the child at the agreed-upon location or time
  • Changing the visitation schedule without the court’s permission
  • Allowing a person to pick up the kid without the court’s permission
  • Attempting to visit or contact the child outside of the visitation order’s designated times
  • Taking away a parent’s visitation rights established in accordance with the law

Changes to the visitation schedule may be necessary for some circumstances for genuine reasons. Rather than attempting to change the visitation order without the court’s knowledge or oversight, the party or parties should submit a motion to modify it.

What Happens if the Non-custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

The severity of the violation, the number of times the parent has skipped visitation, and the child’s best interests all influence the repercussions of a parent not showing up for visitation. The non-custodial parent’s right to visit is rarely revoked by a judge. Violations of the visiting schedule, however, have repercussions.

When a parent misses his visitations, a judge may take the following steps:

  1. Parenting classes must be paid for and attended by the parent
  2. The responsible parent must pay for and attend family counseling
  3. Enforcing a monetary fee to be paid to the custodial parent each time the parent is late or absent for scheduled visitations
  4. Revising the custody agreement and/or limiting the parent’s access to the child
  5. Requiring parents to participate in mediation to resolve disputes at the expense of the offending party

The well-being of the child is the judge’s first concern. As a result, he makes decisions in the best interests of the child. The judge may still grant the non-custodial parent rights if they cancel some visitations but still desire to make up those visits.

However, depending on why the non-residential parent missed the visitation in the first place, the judge may also deny the request.

If you’re the custodial parent and your ex-spouse asks for makeup parenting time, keep an open mind and think about what’s best for your child and the co-parent. Remember that life gets in the way occasionally and things come up unexpectedly.

Violation of Child Custody Order

Violation of child custody can have very serious consequences, apart from being a breach of trust toward the other parent.

A person is guilty of violation of child custody if they take or retain a minor child:

  1. When the person knows that the person’s taking violates the express terms of a judgment or order, including a temporary order of a court, disposing of the child’s custody.
  2. When a person — who has not been granted custody of a child by a court of competent jurisdiction — knows that a divorce suit, a civil suit, or an application for the writ of habeas corpus to dispose of the child’s custody has been filed, and takes the child out of the geographic area of the counties composing the judicial district if the court is a district court.

The above-mentioned reasons lead to the parent not following custody agreement, and thus being prosecutable.

What Can the Other Parent Do?

The non-violating parent can take action against the violating parent if they are in violation of custody agreement. First, the non-violating parent should document the violation(s), which entails keeping track of acts that do not correspond to the court’s visitation schedule.

The non-violating parent has the following alternatives, based on the visitation order and documentation of the violating behavior:

  • Submit a police report. Many district attorneys’ offices have a specific child abduction unit.
  • Make a move in court to alter the present visiting order.
  • Submit a motion to the court for the imposition of sanctions against the offending parent.
  • Make a contempt of court complaint.

What Are the Consequences of a Violation of Visitation Orders?

When a visitation order is broken, the congeniality of the parents who are subject to it does not nullify the legal repercussions. A court issues the order and ensures that it is followed. Even if one parent violates a visitation order while the other parent appears to be absent, the infraction may still result in court-ordered sanctions.

Violations of a visitation order can result in the following legal consequences:

– Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties can be attributed for contempt of court, which include fines and/or jail time (this usually happens as a result of repeated violations related to a visitation order).

– Consequences on Child Custody

Violation of court ordered visitation on a regular basis might have a detrimental impact on the offending party’s current and/or future child custody. When dealing with a parent who has regularly broken child custody agreements, a court is likely to be less lenient than when dealing with a first-time violator. As a result, parties that are subject to visiting orders should avoid breaking them at all costs.

A violation of a visitation order, or a series of violations, may result in the violating parent losing custody of the child entirely.

When a court grants a visitation order for the first time, the court may find that the violations lead to a conclusion that the child is in danger as a result of the visit. Because family courts are expected to make decisions in the best interests of the kid, this belief could result in the loss of visiting privileges.

How Can I Protect My Rights as a Parent?

A parent who has been informed or advised of a potential violation relating to child custody/visitation rights may wish to speak with a child visitation lawyer straight away due to the serious ramifications of a violation. This type of lawyer can advise you on the best course of action and represent you in court during formal hearings.

When a judge issues a visitation order, it is enforceable under state law. In some cases, a child visitation lawyer in one state may not be the best choice for counsel in another. When choosing amongst various child visitation lawyers, it’s crucial to know in which states they’ve represented clients in court.

Conclusion

Court orders concerning a parent’s conservatorship or visitation rights are essential enough to merit serious legal repercussions if they are disregarded. If your case concerns violation of such directives, you should obtain legal advice.

Further, we conclude the following after reading this article:

  • A visitation order is a court-approved agreement that permits a parent (typically the non-custodial parent) to visit or have a kid remain with them for a short time.
  • Violation of visitation order is taken seriously because the child’s safety or well-being may be jeopardized, such offenses result in substantial legal penalties.
  • The severity of the violation, the number of times the parent has skipped visitation, and the child’s best interests all influence the repercussions of a parent not showing up for visitation.
  • Consequences of violation of orders can be criminal penalties for contempt of court which include fines and/or jail time.
  • A parent who has been informed or advised of a potential violation relating to child custody/visitation rights may wish to speak with a child visitation lawyer straight away due to the serious ramifications of a violation.

We hope that you can now make legally informed choices when it comes to visitation orders and the consequences of their violation.

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