When a couple decides to end their marriage with children, the primary goal of New Jersey courts is to preserve the parent-child relationship. The court recognizes that having an ongoing relationship with both parents is in a child’s best interests. Therefore, when custody is established, the court may grant parenting time to the non-custodial parent. Naturally, you want to do what’s best for your child. This raises the question of whether you can limit or deny visitation to a non-custodial parent. Please continue reading to learn when you can deny visitation rights to a non-custodial parent and how our compassionate Monmouth County Child Visitation Attorneys can help you safeguard your child’s best interests.
Can a Parent Refuse Visitation Without a Court Order?
Firstly, it’s essential to understand that when one parent has sole custody of a child, the other is usually awarded visitation rights. This means they have a legal right to spend time with their child. If you’re the custodial parent, you cannot deny visitation rights if an existing custody order exists. Ultimately, denying visitation is illegal and will result in serious legal consequences. Visitation must continue unless the court says differently.
What Should You Do If You Don’t Think A Non-Custodial Parent Should Have Visitation Rights?
Regardless of whether you have valid reasoning for denying a non-custodial parent visitation, you must comply with the existing court order. However, you can petition the court to modify your custody agreement. You will have to provide the court with substantial evidence that proves a material change in circumstances warrants a modification of the existing custody order.
Nevertheless, if you suspect abuse or neglect, you can file an emergency petition with the court to ensure your child’s overall well-being is safeguarded. You will have to provide evidence of the non-custodial parents’ wrongdoing. It’s also possible to contact child protective services to report abuse. They will immediately investigate this accusation and help you get an emergency court order restricting the child’s access to the non-custodial parent.
Will the Court Consider My Child’s Parental Preference?
Despite your child not wanting to see the non-custodial parent, you must comply with the court-ordered visitation plan and follow the agreed-upon schedule. Children are only sometimes given the option of whether they want to spend time with a non-custodial parent. As mentioned above, when a non-custodial parent has visitation rights, they have a legal right to see their child until adulthood. Filing a petition with the court to modify a custody order is possible. However, the court will only consider a child’s preferences when they’re old enough to make decisions based on sound reasoning and have a legitimate reason for not wanting to see their other parent.
For more information about visitation rights in New Jersey, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Monmouth County child visitation attorney. At Paone Zaleski & Muprhy, we are prepared to help you protect your parental rights.