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When married couples legally divorce, and they have children, the court will establish a custody order.  This legal ruling will define visitation and parental rights. Apart from cases where the children are at risk of imminent harm, neither parent has a right to prevent the other one from seeing their children. Sometimes one parent will deny or withhold the other parent’s visitation rights by refusing to work with the other parent so they can see their children. Being prevented from seeing your child from your ex-spouse can be frustrating and, at some times, scary. Below is more information about what can be done when your children are being withheld from you.  

Understanding Custody Orders in Utah

When two parents decide to divorce and have children together, a custody order must be created and filed. Some couples are fortunate enough to come to terms on a custody agreement without much contention or disagreements. When this situation arises, a custody order can be established with a mediator present. In other cases, it is best to have a custody attorney on your side to help establish your rights and what will be best for your children. Once the custody agreement is entered as an order, it is now legally binding and enforceable by both parents.  

Why do Parents Stop the Other Parent from Seeing Their Children?

As we eluded to above, there are some rare situations where it is necessary and appropriate for one parent to violate their custody agreement. This can include cases where your ex-spouse is abusive, dangerously neglectful, or has drug or alcohol abuse issues. However, parents sometimes do not withhold visitation for such noble reasons. Below are some invalid reasons a person will violate their custody agreement and visitation rights.  

  1. The parent is doing it out of spite. They may be jealous because one parent has a new relationship or are sour over an unrelated disagreement.  
  2. Out of anger or resentment of the divorce in general. Remember that sometimes only one partner wants to get a divorce. This can lead to the other party making ill-advised decisions because they are still upset.  
  3. They claim the children do not want to visit that parent. This claim can come up when one household has more lenient rules than another. For example, maybe one home has a strict bedtime or encourages the children to eat healthy food that the children are not fond of.  
  4. The other parent has not paid their child support or has been late when previously established exchange times and locations have been created.   

What can you do About a Violation?

It might be tempting to call the police right away. However, involving the police can sometimes escalate the situation and lead to further legal issues that need to be addressed. As long as you don’t believe your children’s safety is at risk, it would help if you considered calling a family law attorney first. Knowledgeable attorneys will be able to get more information about your situation and provide advice on how to resolve your issue in the best way possible. If you live in Utah and are dealing with child custody issues, we invite you to call the legal professionals at Burton Family Attorneys today.  

Disclaimer: Using this site or communicating with Burton Family Attorneys through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising only. Do not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services providers. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter, you should consult your attorney or professional legal services, providers.