Can a Parent Refuse Visitation Without a Court Order in New Jersey?

man reading a book to a baby

When you and your spouse divorce, one of the most contentious issues that arises surrounds child custody and visitation. As such, you’ll want to do everything possible to ensure you spend as much time with your child as possible during these periods. Unfortunately, if you and your ex-spouse are not on the best terms, you may find that they are less than willing to let your child spend time with you despite having a court order. If your ex continues to refuse visitation without a court order, you may not know how to proceed. Luckily, the following blog and New Jersey child visitation attorneys can help you with any issues you may experience.

What Is Court-Ordered Visitation?

Court-ordered visitation, more commonly referred to as parenting time in New Jersey, is generally any time a child spends with a non-custodial parent. This often includes periods of visitation during the day, but can also include overnight stays or weekends spent with the child.

When visitation is court-ordered, it means the judge overseeing the case has determined that it’s in the child’s best interest to spend time with the non-custodial parent. As such, they will create a visitation schedule, meaning the custodial parent legally has to follow the schedule.

Is The Custodial Parent Allowed to Refuse Visitation?

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why a custodial parent would refuse visitation. In many instances, it is out of spite or bitterness toward the other parent. However, despite the relationship between the parents, the child needs to spend time with both parental figures. Denying visitation can harm the child as it has been determined it’s in their best interest to spend time with the non-custodial parent.

If you are behind on child-support payments, the custodial parent may feel like you should be punished for the delay. However, it’s essential to understand that failure to pay child support does not impact your right to visitation. As such, your spouse cannot refuse visitation without a court order from the judge modifying or revoking your schedule.

What Should I Do if My Spouse Won’t Follow the Court Order?

In the event your spouse fails to follow the court order, understanding the steps you must take to ensure your rights are protected is critical. You should keep a record of each time your ex-spouse has denied you the right to see your child or violated any other terms of the court order.

It’s important to understand that you should not retaliate. Though they may cut into your parenting time, keeping your child past the court-ordered time can be used against you, regardless of what your spouse does.

If you are going through issues because your spouse refuses to allow you to see your child during your court-ordered visitation period, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Haber Silver Rusoniello & Dunn, our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help rectify the situation so you can spend time with your child. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during these challenging times.