What Happens if You Don’t Follow a Court Order for Visitation?


Discover what can happen if you don’t follow a court order for visitation. Learn about the legal consequences and how The Carson Law Firm can guide you through this complex issue.

Violating a Visitation Court Order

Parents typically work together to establish visitation schedules. However, in situations where reaching an agreement becomes challenging, seeking assistance from the court to establish a visitation arrangement may be necessary.

It is important to remember that disregarding a court order and withholding visitation can result in serious consequences. Not following parenting time and legal decision-making directives could result in being held in contempt, which might lead to jail time or fines.

If your ex-spouse is denying you court-ordered visitation or if you’re contemplating withholding visitation for any reason, it’s crucial to understand the potential consequences and seek legal counsel before making any decisions.

This article explains the possible repercussions of non-compliance with a court-ordered parenting plan and the available remedies in case your former spouse fails to comply. If you need further help, The Carson Law Firm is here for you.

What Are the Penalties for Violating a Visitation Order?

Regardless of how effectively parents collaborate, there can be significant legal repercussions when a visitation order is breached. In Missouri, for instance, RSMo §452.400 grants the non-custodial parent child visitation rights unless it poses a risk to the child’s well-being or emotional growth, as determined by the court after a hearing.

These orders are actively enforced by the court, and even if a violation happens with the apparent consent of the other parent, there may still be negative consequences imposed. Violating a visitation order can result in legal consequences, such as:

  • Contempt of court

  • Criminal consequences, including fines or even imprisonment, in case of repeated visitation order violations

  • Potential loss of custody or visitation rights

Courts adopt a more stringent approach when addressing parents who repeatedly violate visitation and child custody orders, as opposed to those who are first-time offenders. However, it is crucial to know that even first-time violators may face consequences.

The court commonly mandates the responsible party to attend parenting classes, undergo therapy, or take other measures aimed at enhancing their behavior.

Can Violating a Custody Order Lead to the Loss of Child Custody?

Failing to comply with a visitation order, whether it happens once or becomes a recurring pattern, can have severe consequences. The non-compliant parent puts their custody rights over their child at risk.

If a custodial parent fails to honor the terms of visitation, the court has the authority to revoke their custody rights if it’s in the child’s best interest. Instead, sole custody may be granted to the other parent. This is why parents must strictly adhere to visitation orders, avoiding any actions that could be perceived as violations.

If there is a legitimate need to modify the visitation order, it is imperative to adhere to the proper legal procedures and obtain prior approval from the court. By doing so, parents can avoid the risk of legal consequences and show their ability to prioritize their child’s best interests.

When Can Visitation Orders Be Modified?

There are various reasons why modifications to a visitation schedule may be necessary. These can include changes in work schedules, conflicts with the schedules of other children, or a parent’s relocation to a new residence. It may not be enough to request a modification because either party doesn’t like the visitation schedule.

The simplest approach to modifying an existing schedule is through open communication and mutual agreement with the other parent. If both parties are in sync, there is no need to resort to legal intervention.

However, if the changes are big enough to affect the child’s place of residence, for example, it requires a court order to become binding. Parents can formalize the arrangement by submitting an uncontested modification petition, called a stipulation, to the court.

Conversely, if the parents are not in agreement regarding a visitation order change, the one parent seeking the modification will need to file a formal petition to request the required adjustments.

In matters of custody, the family court diligently considers the best interests of the child when evaluating modifications. They may determine that adjusting the visitation schedule is crucial for the child’s overall well-being. Major changes to a parenting plan or visitation schedule may necessitate a modification of child support payments as well.

How Can a Family Law Attorney Help You?

When it comes to disputes regarding custody or visitation, it is essential to seek the legal guidance of a dedicated family law attorney. These matters carry legal implications for both parents and, more importantly, can affect the well-being of the child.

By having a knowledgeable attorney by your side, you can have confidence that your rights will be protected and the interests of your child safeguarded. An experienced attorney not only guides you on how to modify custody and visitation orders but also ensures that your child’s best interests are their top priority.

A child custody lawyer is better suited to give you personalized and tailored advice on your unique situation. They can offer invaluable guidance on the effects of court order violations on yourself and your child so you can make informed decisions.

The Carson Law Firm Is Here for You

Dealing with disputes over child custody and visitation can be really tough and stressful for both parents. But don’t worry; you are not on your own! With the unwavering support of the skilled legal team at The Carson Law Firm, you can finally gain peace of mind.

Family law attorneys at The Carson Law Firm have extensive experience in this field and are dedicated to fiercely advocating for your and your child’s best interests. We understand that every case is unique and work tirelessly to provide personalized legal solutions for your situation.

If you need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Carson Law Firm today for a confidential consultation. Let our exceptional team guide you in finding a resolution that works for you.

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