Danielsen Westhoff, PC

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Visitation rights cannot be denied indiscriminately

Colorado residents going through a divorce may wonder if a custodial parent can deny the non-custodial parent visitation on a whim. Custodial parents may be able to deny visitation if there are situations that put the child in imminent danger by being in the care of the non-custodial parent. However, resentment, hurt feelings or an argument between the ex-spouses are not a legal reasons for denying visitation.

The custodial parent may feel hurt that their ex-spouse is in a new relationship. They may resent any relationship that could develop between their child and their ex-spouse's new romantic partner. The child may feel uncomfortable being around their parent's new significant other. However, these are not legal grounds for denying visitation.

A custodial parent could argue that their ex-spouse lives in a small home or apartment that lacks a bedroom for the child. Or they may argue that the non-custodial parent is behind on child support payments and so they do not deserve visitation. Legally, these arguments do not hold up.

A parent could use the feelings of their child as an excuse to deny visitation. They may say that the child refuses to visit their parent. In these circumstances, co-parents need to put forth a united front. Help the child see the benefits of having two homes to visit.

The argument may be made that the child is sick and so cannot visit. Legally, sickness is not an excuse to deny a visit. If the child is hospitalized, the non-custodial parent should be informed so the visit can happen in the hospital.

Child custody decisions are made with the child's best interests at heart. A parent might feel that they are the best qualified to care for their child. A family law attorney may help a parent make this argument to a judge. They might be able to help their client understand custody laws and what is required of them. Attorneys may explain other legal aspects of the divorce proceeding.

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