Divorces are always complex as a lot is at stake. However, they become even more complicated when children are involved. During the divorce process, when it comes to the court determining child custody and visitation orders, the main factor assessed is what is in the child’s best interest. Typically, courts believe a child should benefit from being nurtured by both parents if possible. In a divorce, if both parties cannot reach a mutual agreement on a visitation schedule, the court will order one. When a non-custodial parent has court-ordered visitation rights, a custodial parent is required to adhere to the order. However, certain exceptions may allow a parent to refuse to send their child to court-ordered visitation. If you believe you have reasonable grounds for denying your ex-spouse court-ordered visitation, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Memphis, Tennessee Child Visitation Lawyer who can help you ensure your child’s best interests are protected.
Do I have to send my child to court-ordered visitation in Tennessee?
Custodial parents are required by law to adhere to a court-ordered visitation schedule. This means they cannot deny a non-custodial parent their visitation rights. The only party who can deny or revoke visitation rights is the court. A parent may be hesitant to send their child for visitation for several reasons. However, they cannot refuse to send their child for visitation unless they have legitimate reasoning. Legitimate reasoning does not mean they do not want to send their child to spitefully hurt their ex. Additionally, legitimate reasoning does not mean they don’t want to send them because their ex has a new romantic partner their child will be spending time with. A parent must have reasonable grounds for refusing to send their child for visitation. In Tennessee, the only exception for denying a non-custodial parent court-ordered visitation is if a parent has a legitimate reason to believe their child’s physical and emotional health is in imminent danger. If a parent has a valid reason to believe their ex is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusing their child, they should not send their child for visitation. Instead, they must take the issue to court to request their ex’s visitation rights be revoked to protect their child’s welfare. The court will always prioritize a child’s best interest when determining child custody agreements and visitation orders. With that being said if a child is being harmed in any way by a non-custodial parent, the court can revoke an existing court-ordered visitation agreement. Ultimately, it is illegal for a parent to deny a non-custodial parent court-ordered visitation. However, if a parent has a legitimate reason to fear for their child’s safety they should not send their child for visitation until they take the matter up with the court to protect their child’s overall well-being.
If you fear your child is in imminent danger do not send them for court-ordered visitation. Instead, reach out to one of our determined and dedicated team members who can help you request for your ex’s visitation rights to be revoked to ensure your child’s safety and overall well-being are protected.