Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What to do if refused visitation?

Read John Bolch's What do you do when you turn up for contact and your ex refuses to allow you to see the children?. Imprint this on your brains:

If you are not able to discuss matters reasonably with her, or if she still refuses to allow you contact, then walk away. The longer you stay there, the more likely there will be an 'incident', or she will allege that you are harassing her. Obviously, you will have to consider instructing a solicitor, or issuing a contact application.

Keep a contemporaneous diary of your contact with the children and any problems that occur. This could be extremely useful in any future court proceedings. If there have been regular breaches of agreed arrangements, this would give you grounds for an application to the court.
Read the whole of the article, please. Do not be put off by it being from an English family law blog. This shows that behaviors (and excuses) do not change from on jurisdiction to another. The advice given is good common sense.

I think I detect a bit of difference between England and Indiana regarding visitation. I am thinking the contact order must be analogous to our Parenting Time Orders. We always have one in place where there are children from the time of the provisional hearing to the Final Hearing.

What continues to surprise is how many people do not know how to enforce their visitation rights. Either prior counsel never told them (not as unlikely as it may sound) or the parent was not paying attention. The Family Lore article does not go to this point - it deals with what to do when you are standing in the doorway and the custodial parent says the child is not going. I am speaking now about to do after you leave the custodial parent's home.

There are two choices for the non-custodial parent to make at this time:

  1. If the custodial parent has a lawyer, have your lawyer call the opposing counsel and get the opposing counsel to put pressure on their client.
  2. If the custodial parent has no counsel, your only choice to file an affidavit for contempt.
I have articles on Parenting Time and on enforcing court orders, just follow the links below.


Anonymous said...

My frustration in the backwater city of IndianNoPlace was that (before the merger) the Marion County Sherif's Department said that as along as I had a copy of my visitation order, that they would arrest my ex-wife and charge her with Interference With Custody (IC 35-42-3-4, while the Indianapolis Police Department parroted the "it's a civil matter" that the Marion County Prosecutors Office uses every time that visitation enforcement was brought up.

What good does it do for the legislature to pass a law if the police won't enforce it and the courts and prosecutors office ignore it?

I apologize for being jaded. It has been my experience that the the only contribution that non-custodial parents make to to their children that the courts recognize is a support check, and that we are the custodial parents indentured servants who should consider ourselves to be damned lucky to be allowed to see our children at the custodial parents whim because there are no consequences beyond a verbal scolding for visitation interference, but let me miss a child support payment and I can end up in jail.

Sam Hasler said...

You may want to check back on November 19 as I will be discussing Indiana trial courts.