Can a parent refuse to send their child to visitation?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2023 | Child Custody & Visitation |

California state law protects a child’s right to visit with their non-custodial parent. Despite this, there are times when a custodial parent refuses to allow visitation for their child. 

Can a parent defy court-ordered visits? 

The consequences of not allowing visitation

Regarding court-ordered visitation in California, parents must adhere to the terms of the order. If a parent refuses to send their child to court-ordered visitation, they can face serious consequences.

They may feel justified in refusing to allow visitation. There may be a history of neglect, substance abuse or mental health issues. Or, they may believe that the current order isn’t in the child’s best interest.

However, the custodial parent could be held in contempt of court and face legal penalties such as fines or jail time. Other ramifications could be the reduction of custody or modifying the existing custody order and granting the other parent sole custody.

There may be situations where the child doesn’t want to visit the other parent. They may be experiencing emotional distress or anxiety. Or they may be having difficulty adjusting to the existing visitation schedule. For the child’s well-being, having a conversation with them and addressing their concerns is essential. Parents must remember that communication and understanding are critical when dealing with these situations.

If the parents cannot agree, the court may get involved to determine what is in the child’s best interests. A judge will consider the child’s age, the bond between the parents and the child, the child’s ties to the community, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and if there is any history of violence or substance abuse.

Overall, parents need to follow custody and visitation orders to avoid adverse legal consequences. No matter what situation you find yourself in regarding court-ordered visitation, it is essential to explore your options to ensure your rights are protected, and your children’s best interests are considered.