If you have been denied visitation, you will need to take steps toward exercising your parental rights. Some parents decide that informal custody arrangements will work for them. But one parent may later decide to deny the other parent visitation altogether. When a parent will not let another parent see the kids, you need a custody order in place.
What Are Your Parental Rights in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, both parents have the important right to spend time with their children. Parents’ joint right to the custody, care, and control of their child is fundamental and protected by the federal and state constitutions. Custody, care, and control may describe a variety of different parenting arrangements. For example, you might have visitation rights to see your child once a week. Or you might have joint custody with the child’s other parent involving the child living with you for part of the year.
Because each parent has a right to be with their child, it can feel very disheartening when the other parent keeps you from seeing your kid. When you have a formal, court-authorized custody arrangement, you can ask the court to require that the other parent let you see your child. Without a formal custody plan in place, it can be very difficult to assert your parental rights. If you do not have a custody order, reach out to a local attorney for help getting one.
Why Do You Need a Custody Order?
Having a custody order in place gives you and the other parent access to your important parental rights. The order will describe when and how you can see your child. It also will explain who makes decisions for your child, such as picking the school for the child to attend or authorizing the child’s medical care. If you never got a custody order when you broke up or parted ways with the other parent, you may not have discussed who will make life decisions for your child. Also, you may have no plan in place for allocating your child’s time with each parent. The other parent could deny you visitation, leaving you with little recourse besides starting the custody process in court.
Court-ordered custody arrangements protect both parents and the child. They establish boundaries for your child to spend time with both of her parents. If your spouse won’t let you see your child, it’s time to seek court intervention. The longer you wait to get a custody order, the stronger the other parent’s argument becomes that you didn’t want to spend time with the child. You will want a lawyer’s help to present your best case to the court that you deserve custody at least part of the time.
Getting a Custody Order
There are a few important steps to take as you work to get a custody order. First, talk to your lawyer about any documentation or evidence you can provide to strengthen your custody case. For example, you may need to demonstrate that you have a suitable place for the child to sleep at your apartment or house. A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer will assist you in preparing a good case and filling out the required paperwork.
Second, keep in mind that the court decides custody based on the best interests of the child. Parents’ feelings towards each other are typically not factors that the judge cares about. You may feel angry at the other parent because he or she has denied you visitation recently. But your focus should be on what is best for your child. Even if you would rather spend 100 percent of your time with your child, it may be for the best if your child sees both parents. Getting a judge’s neutral perspective on how to allocate custody between you and the other parent could be valuable. Ask your lawyer for advice on how best to move forward with your custody case.
Denied Visitation? Let New Direction Family Law Help
Is your child’s other parent denying you visitation? Do you need a custody order to enforce your important parental rights? The team at New Direction Family Law is available today to answer your questions. As knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate professionals, we will help you understand your legal rights. Our North Carolina attorneys have decades of combined legal experience. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 646-6561 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.