What Can You Do if Your Former Spouse Refuses Visitation In Florida?
It is not uncommon for parents to refuse visitation to their former spouse. There are many reasons people do this. Sometimes, a parent may believe their former spouse is endangering the child, such as when there is a history of domestic violence or substance abuse. In other instances, a parent may refuse visitation simply to spite their former spouse and anger them. Regardless of the reason, it is important to know that you have a right to visitation as long as a court order is in place. Below, our Tampa child custody attorney explains what to do next.
Can My Former Spouse Refuse Visitation?
Instead of using the term child custody or visitation, Florida law refers to time-sharing; however, these terms are still commonly used. The change in law occurred because it is now presumed that each parent has a right to raise their child and that neither parent should simply visit a child. Even though the terms used in Florida may differ from other states, one thing remains the same. A time-sharing order is final and legally binding, and both parties are required to comply with it.
Violating time-sharing orders, or any other court order, can be a very serious matter. In the majority of cases, anyone who violates a court order may face serious consequences. The penalties include jail time (rarely), high fines, and even a temporary or permanent change to the time-sharing order. It is only in rare cases, such as if the judge determines that visitation will put the child’s safety in jeopardy, that they will uphold a refusal of visitation.
What to Do if Your Former Spouse is Refusing Visitation?
People sometimes have fairly innocent reasons for refusing visitation. One parent may have forgotten that a date for visitation was changed, and so, forget to drop the child off. In other cases, one parent may regularly be late for pick-ups and drop-offs. While these are inconvenient and frustrating matters, they may not involve a long legal process. In these instances, it can be more effective and cost-efficient for the two differing parties to work out a solution on their own. For example, making up for a missed visitation date is easier than taking the matter to court.
On the other hand, if the grievances are more serious in nature, you may have to go to court to obtain the resolution you need. You can petition the court to enforce the time-sharing order and a Tampa child custody attorney can help you do it. It is critical that you do not take action on your own, such as refusing to pay child support. If you do, you could be found in violation of a court order and face the same serious penalties.
What to do if Your Former Spouse Does Not Want Court Ordered Visitation?
However, if the other parent is not complying with having time sharing with the child as ordered, and does not want it, it is very difficult for a court to enforce it. It would be best to modify the agreement to reduce the time sharing of the other party to reflect reality, which can also affect how much child support that person is paying. Normally, the less time, the more child support will be required to be paid by that person.
Our Tampa Child Custody Attorney Can Help Resolve Your Issues
If your former spouse has denied the visitation you are legally entitled to, our Tampa child custody attorney at All Family Law Group, P.A., can help you enforce the order. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more. Se habla Español.