Violating Visitation Rights in Child Custody Cases
Child custody agreements are set by the court during divorce proceedings. Florida family courts presume that there should be shared custody among the parents unless there is substantial proof showing otherwise. If one parent is given custody of the child, the other parent can still be awarded visitation rights. These rights detail when, where, and for how long the parent gets to interact with their child. However, sometimes parents do not abide by the visitation rights, and violations of visitation occur.
Violating Visitation Rights
Most instances of visitation rights being violated comes from one parent refusing to abide by the visitation schedule set by the court. Refusing to let the child see the parent or let the child speak to the other parent are both examples of visitation violations. A more serious form of visitation violation is when one parent takes the child for an extended amount of time without the proper authority to do so.
Remedies for Visitation Violation
If you are being denied your visitation rights, the most important thing to do is talk to an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer can then help you document the instances of visitation violations and remedy the situation. Remedies for the violation of visitation rights include:
· Calling the police
· Legal notification
· Filing an emergency order with the court
If you choose to file an emergency order with the court, the violating parent can be found in contempt if the violations continue. You can also request attorney’s fees and other costs associated with the motion from the violating parent.
It is important to note that you should never take the situation into your own hands if your visitation rights are being violated. Always follow the child custody and visitation orders, even if the other parent stops you when you try. Showing the court that you are following the court orders can go a long way to remedy the situation or even reevaluate the custody agreement among the parents.
Penalties for Violating Visitation Rights
The penalties for violating another parent’s visitation rights can vary depending on the level of the offense. For refusing to let the other parent spend time with the child, you can be found in contempt of court and subject to a few days in jail and a fine. However, if you take the child knowingly or recklessly for an extended amount of time it can result in a felony of the third degree. This crime can come with a prison sentence of up to five years, substantial fines, and other consequences.
Call a Florida Family Law Attorney
Being denied the right to see your child can be an incredibly heartwrenching experience, but you do not have to go through it alone. If you or a loved one is having their visitation rights violated with their child by the other parent in the Orlando area, let the experienced family law office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and private review of your case.