Can My Ex Deny Visitation Because My Child Falls Ill?

Court orders are expected to be followed, but it’s important for both parents to remain flexible. Under the letter of the law, your ex does not have the legal right to violate a court-ordered visitation schedule. However, the well-being of your child is the most important factor. If your child isn’t feeling well enough to visit with you, try to be understanding and flexible.

Legal Custody

It can sometimes be confusing if only one parent has legal custody, including the right to make major medical decisions for the child. Your ex cannot use this medical authority as a reason to deny visitation during an illness. Legal custody simply means that your ex can make these decisions without consulting you, such as deciding to have the child see a doctor. Legal custody doesn’t supersede the visitation orders or affect your parental right and obligation to take care of your child when he or she is ill. Court’s do expect parents to be reasonable and act in the child’s best interest.

Medical Needs

If your child falls ill and needs to be hospitalized during your visit time, you can visit him or her in the hospital. Neither parent should jeopardize the child’s health by insisting on enforcing a particular visitation order when the child is physically incapable of it.

Parental Compromise

Unexpected circumstances such as an illness underscore the importance of maintaining open, civil communication with the other parent. By practicing good communication all year-round, you can place greater faith in your ability to work out a compromise with your ex when something happens. Call your ex to find out how your child is feeling. Some parents agree to use the “school standard.” If a child is feeling well enough to go to school, he or she is also feeling well enough to visit. Additionally, you might consider a compromise, such as by agreeing to lengthen a weekend visit or reschedule a visit instead of visiting during the illness.

The Child’s Preferences

Talk to your child before reaching an agreement with your ex. Using neutral language and a neutral tone of voice, ask your child whether he or she feels well enough to leave the house. Some kids would rather stay in the same place to recuperate, while others might benefit from a change of scenery.

The father’s rights attorneys at Singer & Associates are here to help if you think your ex is violating your legal rights. We represent parents throughout Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas. You can get in touch at (916) 922-5985.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Singer & Associate Law Office, or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Categories: Visitation


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