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Refusing visitation is a risky proposal for parents

Texas parents likely understand that regular parenting time schedules are designed to provide both parents regular access and visitation to children even though the kids may be primarily in the custody and possession of the other parent. Unfortunately, even the best of plans sometimes fail to hold up in real world circumstances. In situations where a parent may be concerned about child safety, there are protocols for deviating from the scheduled plan.

By imposing parenting schedules, courts seek to insure that children maintain a consistent relationship with both parents, regardless of who is the designated custodial parent. In order to disrupt this plan, a parent must have a very good reason to refuse access to children by the other parent. A common complaint is that children are spending time with paramours or new relations one parent considers unsavory. There must be an actual physical threat to the physical safety of children in order for visitation to be refused or denied. For example, if a parent arrives to pick up children while visibly under the influence of alcohol and a parent fears for safety, it may be appropriate to refuse access to children. If the home environment is otherwise physically unsafe do the presence of illegal activity, refusing access may be appropriate. If a parent suspects a child is being abused while with the other parent, or if the child refuses to go, visitation may be denied.

If a parent contemplates refusing to comply with a court order, he or she should understand the risk of being held in contempt of court. It is prudent to document, in whatever legal method possible, the perceived threat and reasoning for refusing visitation. In such situations, the plan may need to be formally revised in order to avoid the risk of contempt.

If a parenting plan has become inadequate or the source of contention, it may be prudent to speak with a qualified child custody lawyer. A consultation might provide valuable insight regarding options and procedures for concerned parents.

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