Bitterness, hostility and pain can lead Texas couples to getting divorced. After the divorce, it may be tempting for a custodial parent to try to use their child as leverage in order to get back at an ex-spouse who has caused them to suffer. This is not in the best interests of the children and is illegal.
Custodial parents need to be aware of illegitimate reasons to refuse visitation to a non-custodial parent who has been granted visitation rights by a judge. Besides the fact that researchers have shown that children who grow up having access to both parents despite divorce benefit from this, refusing visitation can lead to fines, jail time and even loss of custody of the children.
If a non-custodial parent is behind on child support payments, this does not mean that they do not have the right to see their children. If a non-custodial parent lives in an apartment or studio and does not have a separate bedroom for the children, this does not provide a legal basis to refuse visitation either.
The situation can become complicated if the non-custodial parent starts a new romantic relationship. The custodial parent may feel hurt because the ex has moved on. They may also feel jealous or apprehensive thinking of the child developing a relationship with that person. However, if the child will not be in danger, these are not reasons to refuse visitation.
A custodial parent has the responsibility of planning a child’s schedule around visitation with the non-custodial parent. If a non-custodial parent feels like the other parent is blocking visitation or is filling up the child’s schedule with school and other activities, he or she may want to talk to a lawyer. A lawyer may examine the situation and let a parent know what options they have. They might help with complex child custody disputes and parenting plans.