Missed Parental Visits Can Hurt Your Standing with the Court
Except in extreme circumstances, all parents have the right to visitation with their children if the other parent has sole custody. These visits could last just a few hours or for overnight stays here and there. The expectation is that the visiting parent will abide by all the rules listed in the visitation agreement and will attend any visitation sessions that are arranged.
Missing a parental visit will reflect poorly on that parent in the eyes of the court, as will frequent lateness to these visits. These unexpected misses hurt the feelings of the child, who is likely eagerly anticipating the time spent with his or her other parent, and cause unnecessary amounts of stress for the custodial parent.
If missed visits or lateness to visits becomes a problem, the court may take the following actions:
- Increase child support: The court might decide to increase the amount of child support above the suggested guidelines. There are several reasons for this, including to compensate the custodial parent for the inconvenience and occasionally to allow the custodial parent to pay for counseling for the child, who might be stressed due to the missed visits.
- Adjusted visitation schedules: If a noncustodial parent has trouble meeting visitation responsibilities, he or she may see those privileges decreased in a new, adjusted visitation schedule.
- Revoked visitation rights: In extreme cases, the court may choose to revoke the parent’s right to visitation completely. This is typically only done in cases in which there is some reasonable suspicion of danger to the child or the custodial parent.
Parents should never miss scheduled visits unless they have a clearly unavoidable reason for doing so. For more information and guidance on child custody and visitation arrangements, meet with a knowledgeable Long Island family law attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.