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Can a Parent Withhold Child Visitation From Another Parent?

Child custody disputes can be a combustible combination of parents’ underlying relational tensions and each parent’s belief that they know what is best for their child. Sometimes these tensions come to a head and a custodial parent decides to withhold visitation from the other parent. Regardless of the reasons for this decision, both sides must understand the consequences of withholding child visitation.

If There is No Order or Agreement

If there is no child custody order or formal custody agreement in place, then anything goes. In the absence of an order or enforceable agreement, both parents have equal footing when it comes to the care, custody, and control of their children. Parents automatically are granted joint custody of their children until an order is entered to the contrary. However, Nevada law does not provide any specific guidance about how that joint custody is to be exercised prior to a court order being entered. As such, there is little help to be found if a parent does not comply with joint custody prior to a court order being entered.

If An Order Exists, Both Parents Must Follow Its Terms

If there is a parenting plan, which is a legally binding agreement as to parental visitation and access, then both parents must follow the terms of this agreement. Likewise, if there is a custody order issued by a court, then both parents are legally obligated to abide by the terms of the order. So a parent’s choice to withhold visitation from the other parent in violation of a parenting plan or custody order may land that parent in front of a judge.

Judges have the discretion to enforce orders, issue temporary orders in the child’s best interest, to order financial sanctions for the costs of bringing the matter to court, and even order jail time for contempt (in extreme violations).

Speak with An Attorney for Enforcement or Modification

Children need safety and stability, which doesn’t happen when parents take matters into their own hands.. If you need help getting the visits you are entitled to, speak with an attorney to help you resolve the issue. This resolution may come from a demand letter to the other parent’s attorney or can come from legal action. Courts appreciate it when parents thoughtfully approach these issues.

On the other hand, if you feel that visitation is not in your children’s best interest, speak with an attorney about a modification of your custody orders. Withholding visitation in violation of an agreement or order can jeopardize your parental rights.

Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

Child custody and visitation issues can be contentious and difficult, but are so important to allowing your parent-child relationship to thrive. At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P., our attorneys understand what your children mean to you and will work tirelessly to serve your interests. Our lawyers are experienced, well-respected, and effective advocates. Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.

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