Child Visitation: Denial of Visitation and Restricted Visitation

A child visitation order might allow a non-custodial parent frequent visits. It might allow no visits at all. Denial of visitation to the non-custodial parent occurs only in extreme cases. The following list of horrors is not complete, but it demonstrates how serious the problem must be, in most cases, to deny a parent time with his or her child.

Denial of Visitation

Visitation can be denied when a parent:

  • has abused or neglected a child
  • has placed the child in dangerous situations
  • has threatened removal of the child from the state
  • is known to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs
  • has violated a court order, directly or indirectly related to the child
  • has failed to pay child support (although considered a separate and independent issue)

Serious stuff. Right of visitation can be denied and the other parent awarded both sole legal custody and sole physical custody. Again, denial of visitation is not the norm. Strong evidence must be presented in a court hearing to deny a parent all visitation rights.

Restriction and Supervised Visitation

In less extreme cases, visitation could be allowed, while subject to restrictions. A court may order an alcoholic or drug-addicted parent to refrain from the use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the child's presence and submit to regular alcohol and drug tests. A parent who has been accused of neglecting a child in the past or threatening to take the child away from the other parent may be restricted to visits supervised by a qualified third-party. Supervised visitation is preferred to denial of visitation. Generally, public policy supports continuing and frequent contact between a child and both parents.