Can My Visitation Be Withheld?

The short answer is, no, notwithstanding serious circumstances.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear of stories of the custodial parent withholding parenting time (visitation) for child support payments, personal vendettas and other reasons.  Regardless of the parents relationship with each other, it is important for children to build a bond with their parents.

If you are unable to spend time with your child because the other parent is preventing any parenting time then filing an action with the court may be your best option.  The type of action to file, depends on your circumstances.

There Is Already a Court-Ordered Parenting Plan

If you already have court-ordered parenting time with your child and your parenting time is being denied by the custodial parent then you can file a contempt action against and request for relief against the other parent to right the contemptuous actions.  For example, you can ask for make-up time with the child for the times you were denied. 

Another option is to request that the court modify the existing parenting plan permanently to grant you more parenting time with your child going forward.  A petition to modify parenting time can be filed once every two years in Georgia. 

There Is Not Already a Court-Ordered Parenting Plan

If you are legally married  to your child’s other parent then you can file for a divorce.  Once a divorce action is pending, the courts will have jurisdiction to hear your request for court-ordered parenting time.  In some severe circumstances, the court will entertain an emergency motion to allow you to see your child or even obtain physical custody of your child immediately.

If you are not legally married to your child’s mother then you need to first establish your rights to your child.  In Georgia, as the father, you have no legal rights or rights to parenting time until you have legitimized your child.  By filing a petition for legitimation, the courts then have jurisdiction to grant you legal rights to your child and grant you court-ordered parenting time with your child.

Custody and parenting time actions can be complicated and complex especially when both parents feel as though they are fighting to protect their child.  An experienced family law attorney can help you to navigate the legal process.

For your custody or parenting time consultation, contact Attorney Yolvondra Martin.

The Martin Law Group | 404-248-4898 | ymartin@themartinlawgroup.com