Child custody is a challenging process for both parents and children.
Fighting over who’ll keep the child or access them can turn parents who are genuinely caring into strangers as they all want to win this battle.
But most parents forget that children are not objects to be won. Plus, going into child custody without thinking of your child’s best interests can result in terrible consequences.
Preventing the other parent from accessing your child is common but among the worst things, individuals can do in a child custody dispute.
While there are times that a parent should take this action for their children’s sake, sometimes keeping a child away from the other parent can backfire.
If there are risks of your children being physically or emotionally harmed, you might be justified preventing access. But if there aren’t, the court will expect you to prove that you can and are willing to co-parent.
Keeping a Child Away From the Other Parent Can Backfire
If you apply for custody and cannot demonstrate that you’re eager to co-parent or don’t have an excellent reason why you’re preventing the other parent from seeing your children, you might quickly lose custody.
This is an exciting ruling, but judges have granted custody to the other parent simply because one parent prevented them from accessing children.
Only during serious situations should parents prevent another from accessing their child.
Some circumstances that justify denial of access include if the other parent:
- Is violent
- Takes drugs when children are present
- Is a victim of domestic violence hence might expose the child to this behavior
- Might expose to or harm the child
- Has done something that shows they’re unwilling to return the child after visiting
- Might expose or subject children to sexual abuse
Access should continue unless there high chances that the child might not be returned or they’re at risk of harm. Bear in mind that you must present reasonable concerns and not skeptical ones in court.
Should you have concerns regarding the other parent access to children, but you’re still willing to maintain access, here are some things you should consider.
- Be always present during all visits or let someone you trust to do that if you’re not available.
- Allow visits for short periods or do away with overnights visits if your concerns often arise at night.
- Use contact centers for visits as they’re strictly two hours and are always supervised.
- Have the other parent sign that they’ll return the child or not undertake activities those activities you’re concerned with. Note that if it’s a very serious issue, you can consider allowing only telephone contact. This way, the other parent will still maintain their relationship with their child.
Preventing access without a reasonable justification can backfire. We advise that you take alternate measures before denying access.
Remember that it’s every child’s birthright to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents filled with appropriate care and freedom from harm.
Parents disrupting this without a justifiable reason might end up hurting their child or reduce their chances of being granted custody.