dad leaving after the visitation agreement time is over

Violation of the Visitation Agreement: What to Expect

In a divorce, visitation agreements are set in place to maintain parent-child relationships while also allowing a healthy amount of space between the parents. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, a judge will determine the terms of the visitation agreement. This nationwide law contains specific guidelines on child custody and visitation, and it defines violations of these agreements. In sense, visitation agreements act as a legal contract between parents as well as with the state. 

Overall, laws on child custody are necessary to protect the best interests of children of divorce. There may be consequences if one or both parents violate visitation agreements. Here’s what you can expect if a parent violates a visitation agreement.

What Counts as a Violation?

Violation of a visitation agreement can include skipping scheduled days with your children, making sudden changes to your plans, or attempting to maintain custody of children longer than intended, essentially trying to deny an ex-spouse their “turn” with the children. 

If your ex-spouse tries to interfere with your right to visitation in any way, contact your attorney. They can ensure the protection of your rights and that your ex-spouse faces consequences for violating the terms of the agreement. This is just one reason why it’s extremely important for you–and your children–to have attorney representation in child custody arrangements.

Getting Approval

Any parents can set a private arrangement for child custody and visitation. One parent may agree to take weekdays while the other takes weekends. Parents may also choose to alternate holidays with their children. However, for a custody agreement to be enforceable, a judge will need to approve the arrangement. Without a judge’s approval, there are no consequences for a parent who violates visitation agreements. 

If you have a child custody lawyer help you to present your custody arrangement to a judge, this will create an enforceable agreement. A lawyer will help you present the vital issues related to raising your child or children, including school schedules, paternity, and divorce papers. A judge will review the conditions in detail before approving a visitation agreement.

Should a parent violate this contract, there can be consequences. Note that the jurisdiction, or local court, where the visitation agreements are initially arranged will determine where it is enforced. For example, if two spouses get divorced and file a visitation agreement in Florida, then one parent moves to South Carolina, the visitation agreement will still be enforced in Florida. 

What Are the Consequences?

The consequences for a parent violating visitation rights are at the sole discretion of a judge. They can be very serious, depending on the nature of the violation and the parent’s pattern of behavior. Law can find parents in contempt of court-disregard for the court’s orders and authority–and this can come with certain sanctions. Parents may also face reduced visitation rights or even criminal charges. 

One of the most severe consequences of violation, though, is the loss of visitation rights altogether.  A judge can order a parent to never visit their children again, with the threat of severe criminal charges should they violate this court order. 

Attorney Representation

Without an attorney to represent you in a divorce and child custody arrangement, you can be subject to your ex-spouse’s whims. They may violate the agreement or try to deny you your rights to quality time with your children. A child custody lawyer can help protect your children’s best interests, as well as your own.

Call the Law Offices of Paul Bowen for dedicated legal expertise. Our firm specializes in family law, including visitation agreements. We will work to create a peaceful transition from marriage to divorce for both you and your children. However, we will also act to enforce the law if your ex-spouse creates difficulties for you.