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What to do if your visitation rights are being violated

Divorce can bring out the worst in people. Couples who had previously pledged to love one another forever are suddenly fighting tooth and nail over every speck of their joint assets. Sometimes, this animosity can boil over and impact decisions about child custody and visitation during the divorce process. In cases where the other party is not complying with your court ordered right to visitation, tensions can run particularly high.

It is critical to the overall outcome of the divorce and custody proceedings that you do not act out in an emotional state. Working with a skilled divorce attorney can help you determine how to address the issue.

Should you withhold child support until visitation is permitted?

While it can seem tempting to withhold child support payments to impress upon your soon-to-be ex-spouse the importance of adhering to the visitation schedule, doing so can negatively impact your case for joint or partial custody. It can also have a negative impact on your children, whose needs may not be met if support is not paid in a timely manner.

In a divorce, you want to be on your best behavior when it comes to following court orders, including child support orders. If your ex is withholding visitation, the judge or referee will address that issue when the time comes. Continuing to pay helps make you look responsible and devoted to your children.

What recourse is available if visitation isn't happening?

Your best option is to have your attorney ask the courts to enforce the visitation schedule or to request an update or change to the custody and visitation agreement. While you are still being denied your visitation rights, or when visitation is being cut short or interfered with by your former partner, it's important that you document, in writing, what is happening as it occurs.

Your attorney can use that documentation to show the courts how your rights to visitation with your children are being violated, even though you are making every effort possible to comply with the custody and support requirements laid out in your divorce or the temporary custody and support orders.

An experienced divorce attorney can help protect your parental rights

Especially in cases where one spouse is not complying with the divorce agreement or the temporary support, custody, and visitation orders put in place until the divorce is finalized, the help and advice of an experienced divorce attorney is invaluable. North Carolina has special rules in place for determining child support and custody that an experienced attorney will understand. An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the often frustrating process of requesting and going through a hearing to adjust or enforce visitation and custody orders.

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