When it comes to visitation issues with a noncustodial parent, New Jersey court decisions are based on the best interests of the kids. Judges typically want to see plans or formal visitation orders so that the children are given the opportunity to spend quality time with both parents. In some instances, preventing a visitation could lead to legal ramifications.

Depending on the circumstances, however, child custody and visitation can be changed. There are many reasons why a custodial parent may want to deny a child’s visits with the noncustodial parent. But to break the visitation schedule, there must be a significant reason. For instance, a disagreement over bedtime is not likely to call for a change to visitation orders. If the child might be in some sort of real danger because of abuse or neglect, it could be viewed as a legitimate reason for a primary parent to refuse visits.

A parent who wants to pursue changes to a court-ordered visitation schedule may refuse to allow a visit before they head to court. However, that parent would likely need to prove to the court that the child could have been in jeopardy. A parent should weigh both sides of the situation because they could possibly be held in contempt of court for refusing a court-ordered visit. Of course, a parent needs to make the right decision to protect their child.

Child custody cases can be difficult. If situations or concerns can be worked out between the two parents, then they might petition the court for visitation modifications. When communication has broken down, however, the custodial parent may want to seek the help of an attorney who understands family law.