What Happens If The Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

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What Happens If The Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation - Non-Custodial Parent Not Exercising Visitation Rights

Wondering what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation?

In this article, we are talking about:

  • can the non-custodial parent lose visitation rights
  • what to do when the father refuses to see the child
  • legal actions you can take
  • what the courts will do about missing visitation
  • what to do if the non-custodial parent misses visitation

Let’s dig in.

Custody can be devastating. It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. Spouses end up having to pay agonizing amounts of financial support.

If you want to protect your rights, not wrongfully lose custody, and not get raked over the coals financially, fill out the form below. 

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Custodial Parent vs Non-Custodial Parent

We’re discussing what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation. 

So, it’s important to distinguish which parent is non-custodial vs custodial. 

What Is A Custodial Parent?

A custodial parent is the primary parent of the child. 

This is the parent that the child lives with a majority of the time. 

The child lives with the custodial parent. 

And they visit the non-custodial parent. 

Related: Keeping A Child Away From The Other Parent Can Backfire

What Is A Non-Custodial Parent?

A non-custodial parent is a parent who does not have physical custody

This is the parent that the child does not live with the majority of the time. 

Let’s say that a child lives with their mother Monday through Friday. 

And that they visit their father on the weekends. 

In this case, the mother is the custodial parent. 

This is because the child lives with her the majority of the time. 

And the father is the non-custodial parent. 

Related: Non-Custodial Parent Moving Out Of State

Non Custodial Parent Rights

Non-custodial parent rights are limited compared to the custodial parent’s. 

But, in general, a non-custodial parent’s rights are that they have the right to:

  • access medical and school records
  • make child support payments
  • spend holidays with the children
  • report abuse or neglect of the child

If the non-custodial parent has joint legal custody, then they have other rights. 

These other non-custodial parent rights are that they can make decisions on:

  • the religion the child is involved with
  • where the child goes to school
  • what medical treatment the child can have

Next, let’s talk about what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation.

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

What Happens If The Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

You’re obviously dealing with the non-custodial parent missing visitation. 

So, what actions can you take if the non-custodial parent misses visitation?

Father Refuses To See Child

What can you do if the father refuses to see the child?

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if the father refuses to see the child. 

Since the father refuses to see the child, you lose leverage as a parent. 

You can file a petition for child custody modification. 

This would potentially take away the father’s visitation rights

But if the father refuses to see the child, then he probably won’t care about this

Therefore, you don’t have much leverage over the father. 

The best thing that you can do is focus on the child

If the non-custodial parent misses visitation, the child may blame themselves

Make sure that you explain to the child that this:

  • is not their fault
  • is not a reflection of their worth

There is no way to make this easier on the child. 

Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child

Can A Non-Custodial Parent Lose Visitation Rights?

Is losing visitation what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation? 

Not necessarily. 

But a non-custodial parent can lose visitation rights

And there are numerous reasons a non-custodial parent can lose visitation rights

They will lose visitation if a judge decides it’s in the child’s best interests

The reasons a non-custodial parent can lose visitation rights are:

  • physical abuse of the child or someone in the home
  • sexual abuse of the child
  • parental kidnapping
  • substance abuse
  • a parent going to jail
  • neglecting the child
  • emotionally abusing the child
  • dangerous living conditions
  • refusing to co-parent
  • allowing the child to miss school
  • violation of court orders
  • being a malicious parent

These are reasons the judge will change visitation orders

But they are also reasons that you can deny visitation of the non-custodial parent. 

If the child is in danger, you are allowed to keep them away from that situation

And in dangerous situations, you may be able to get emergency custody

Related: What Not To Do During A Custody Battle

Non-Custodial Parent Not Exercising Visitation Rights

What can you do about a non-custodial parent not exercising visitation rights? 

Many parenting plans don’t require the non-custodial parent to visit

They may just say the non-custodial parent has the right to visitation

If this is the case, then the non-custodial parent can miss visitation without consequence

But if it requires them to visit, then there may be consequences. 

If they are required to visit, they can get held in contempt of court

Either way, what can you do about a non-custodial parent not exercising visitation rights?

You can file a petition to modify the parenting plan

Let’s say that the non-custodial parent consistently misses visitation. 

In this case, the parenting plan can get modified to reflect the time they show up

You can also request that visitation is an obligation and not a right

This will make the non-custodial parent show up more consistently. 

This can help you plan your life more easily. 

Because you know when they will show up instead of guessing whether they will

While you’re at it, file a petition to change child support as well

Since you are caring for the child more, the child support should reflect that

Related: Who Has Custody of a Child When the Parents Are Not Married

Punishments For What Happens If The Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation

Legally, what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation?

Can you take your ex to court for missing visitation? 

Can you have the visitation orders modified? 

Court Actions for Visitation Violations

There are several ways a judge can handle a non-custodial parent missing visitation. 

What happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation depends on:

The judge cannot make a parent WANT to be involved in their child’s life. 

They usually won’t force a non-custodial parent to visit with their child. 

When the non-custodial parent misses visitation, the judge may:

  • make the parent attend, and pay for, parenting classes
  • make the parent attend, and pay for, family counseling
  • make the non-custodial parent pay a fee to the other parent each time they miss visitation
  • modify the child custody orders
  • limit the non-custodial parent’s access to the child

Related: Moving Out of State With Child No Custody Agreement

Court Actions for Repeat Visitation Violations

But what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation repeatedly?

The judge may take more drastic measures if the non-custodial parent keeps missing visitation. 

The non-custodial parent could lose their parenting time altogether. 

When a non-custodial parent misses visitation consistently, they are violating court orders. 

They have court-ordered visitation with the child. 

It’s the non-custodial parent’s responsibility to show up to their visitation. 

When they do not show up at all repeatedly, the judge will modify the custody agreement. 

And the judge can take away all parenting time that the non-custodial parent has. 

Related: No Custody Agreement Father Took Child

What To Do If The Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation

There are some things that you should do if the non-custodial parent misses visitation. 

You need to give a copy of the custody orders and contact info to:

  • the school
  • the child care center
  • any recurring extracurricular activities

If the child is not picked up, they should contact the non-custodial parent first. 

You need to keep detailed notes on when the non-custodial parent misses visitation. 

These notes include information like:

  • the date and time of the event
  • who called you to come to get your child
  • the reason the non-custodial parent missed visitation

You can petition the courts to modify the child custody orders.  

If the non-custodial parent cannot show up as ordered, visitation will likely get modified. 

When visitation gets modified, the custodial parent ends up caring for the child more. 

In these cases, the judge will most likely modify child support as well. 

If the non-custodial parent gets reduced parenting time, they will owe more child support

Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody

Taking Action When A Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation

If you want the best child custody attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

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This means that you don’t wrongfully lose custody of your children.

We also make sure that your custody judgment is equitable and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

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