Wondering what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation?
In this article, we are talking about:
Let’s dig in.
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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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Next, let’s talk about 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?
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:
There is no way to make this easier on the child.
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
Is losing visitation what happens if the non-custodial parent misses visitation?
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:
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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