Last Updated On: March 10, 2023

Is Withholding a Child from Another Parent Allowed In New York?

Parents are entitled to care for and access their children. In joint custody cases, parents have the opportunity to visit their children and make plans for their future. However, there are cases where child custody cases get very contentious. Both parents have the right to access their children. Conflict could stem from one parent not paying child support or if both parents’ divorce is not amicable. While the judge ultimately makes the final decision about the custody, there are cases where one parent takes matters into their own hands and refuse to let the child meet with the other parent. 

It can be overwhelming and frustrating when the child custody order is not followed by the other parent. One might wonder how they can enforce a child custody order and whether it would be a good idea to involve the courts. It is important to remember that minor infractions are acceptable, although they can be annoying. It is normal for people to make mistakes. If a co-parent is late several times to exchange the child, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other parent needs to file an enforcement petition with the court. However, if the custodial parent is being unreasonable and violates the custody or visitation order more than once, the other parent may be able to take a step toward involving the courts and enforcing the order. 

NYC child custody lawyer Ryan Besinque and our team of attorneys have years of experience helping parents deal with contentious and complex child custody cases. We may be able to help you understand your rights and your responsibilities as well as what you should expect in child custody cases. Contact us today at (929) 251-4477 to schedule a consultation. 

Is It a Crime to Deny Another Parent Visitation or Parenting Time?

According to the Family Court, it is generally in the child’s best interest to have visitation with the noncustodial parent. Visitation must be regular and frequent for a parent and child to have a nurturing and meaningful relationship. The custodial parent’s job is to ensure that the child has significant contact with the non-custodial parent.

When a parent refuses to follow the custodial arrangement, they could face a charge of custodial interference in the second degree. A person can face custodial interference in the second degree if they take a child from their legal guardian and are the child’s other parent or relative. The child’s parent or relative may also face the same charge if they intend to keep the child away permanently without any legal right to do so.

The maximum sentence for this charge is one year in jail. Or, if a judge decides that probation is better, the probation period often lasts 3 years. 

It is important not to take matters into your own hands when facing a complicated divorce or a contentious child custody dispute with your ex. Speaking to an experienced child custody lawyer is crucial in ensuring that your rights as a parent are protected. Contact the Law Office of Ryan Besinque today to schedule a consultation with a top-rated child custody attorney in New York City. 

Stopping the Other Parent from Seeing the Child

A parent cannot stop their child from seeing the other parent unless the court has issued an order for it. The state would want to promote a healthy relationship between the parent and the child, whether the parents are on amicable terms after the divorce or not. In the US, stopping the other parent from seeing their child is commonly referred to as gatekeeping. There are two common types of gatekeeping: protective gatekeeping and restrictive gatekeeping. 

Protective Gatekeeping

Protective gatekeeping happens when one parent is concerned about the welfare of the child when they are in the custody of the other parent. Often, protective gatekeeping is grounded in facts. This could happen when the other parent has issues with substance abuse, anger management, or lacks parenting skills in general. 

Even if the custodial parent can justify that the noncustodial parent is not able to take care of the child’s best interests, they are still not allowed to stop the child from seeing them. Instead, it is recommended that they seek appropriate orders from the court about the matter or raise their concerns to the court. 

Restrictive Gatekeeping

Restrictive gatekeeping usually happens when one parent is not happy about the divorce and prevents the child from seeing the other parent unreasonably. In restrictive gatekeeping, the parent usually prevents the other parent from seeing the child as a means of revenge. Restrictive parents may make false accusations of neglect or abuse against the other parents.

Parents who are restrictive gatekeepers are not necessarily terrible parents. However, they often have little respect for the role of the other parent in their child’s life. They may not give much importance to the other parent’s family. 

A restrictive parent may engage in activities that can contribute to the disparagement of the other parent’s role. They may ensure that the child overhears the communication intended to belittle the other parent, or they may ask for unreasonable conditions to satisfy what they want. 

Gatekeeping parents are often not just bent on limiting contact between the child and the other parent. They are often intent on not allowing any relationship between the parent and the child. 

If a parent is refused visitation or parenting time with their child, it is important that they seek action right away. The sooner they take action, the sooner they will be able to spend time with their child again. If the parent who is denied visitation time does not do anything about the restrictive parent, this will empower the latter to continue their actions. 

Legal Options for Stopping Visitation

A court order may be sought by a parent to modify or restrict visitation if they believe their child is in imminent danger in the presence of the other parent. The process is usually done through the family court. The court order can be modified depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

Some of the options that parents have when dealing with these kinds of situations include: 

  • Requesting a Restraining Order: A parent can apply for one that prevents another parent from having any contact with their child if there is clear evidence of abuse or threats.
  • Requesting a modification to the custody order: A parent can seek a modification that reduces or alters the visitation schedule if the current custody order isn’t working properly or puts the child in harm’s way
  • Filing a child protection service complaint: If a parent has concerns regarding the safety of their child during visitation. They can submit a child protective services complaint (CPS), to investigate the matter.

It is important to seek the help of an experienced child custody lawyer in New York if you would like to modify your child custody agreement. If you feel like the other parent poses harm to your child, always remember to take the appropriate steps rather than attempting to resolve the situation yourself.. 

Attorney Ryan Besinque is a top-rated child custody attorney who may be able to help you with your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

Common Reasons for Denying Visitation Rights

A custodial parent might want to deny the noncustodial parent visitation rights for their child for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the most common reasons a custodial parent might deny visitation rights to their child:

  • different opinions or views on how to raise the child;
  • alcohol or drug abuse; 
  • accusations of child abuse, domestic violence, or sexual assault of minors;
  • a noncustodial parent is behind on child support; 
  • disapproval of the noncustodial parent’s new partner; and
  • the child not wanting to spend time with the noncustodial parent.

As mentioned, it is illegal to deny visitation rights to a parent if there is no valid court order. Neglecting to comply with a court order regarding visitation can lead to serious consequences. Parents who need to modify the order must petition the court.

If a parent feels that their child is in imminent danger, they should take the first steps to deny visitation rights. This includes calling the police and alerting child support agencies. This is only recommended in cases of extreme emergency.

Enforcing a Child Custody Order

You can file an enforcement petition in Family Court if the other parent refuses to comply with a visitation or custody order. To protect your rights and interests, it is a good idea to speak with a family lawyer before you do this. You should be aware that the court will only do the right thing for the child’s best interests. You may not be able to get what you desire if you enforce a custody order on the other parent because you are trying to make them feel guilty. Before you go to court again, it is worth asking yourself whether or not you can negotiate with the co-parent.

After an enforcement petition is filed, the hearing will be held and the court will determine how to correct the situation. The judge is likely to do at least one of these things unless you wish to make your case a criminal matter:

  • Modify your parenting plan to include changing who has legal or physical custody of the child
  • Award you extra days for making up any lost time with your child
  • Ask the other parent to pay your lawyer and court costs
  • Charge the other parent with contempt of court

You may have many different options when it comes to enforcing child custody agreements. Without a court order, it may prove more difficult to enforce a custody agreement. Also, without a court order, the court will not be able to enforce a custody agreement unless the child is in imminent danger. If you believe that your child is in immediate danger, contact the police immediately.

Losing Custody After Denying Parent Time

It is possible to lose custody if a parent refuses to recognize the rights of another parent. Only the courts have the power to deny the other parent their visitation rights. The court will have to issue an order to deny the other parent their visitation rights. This can happen if the custodial parent provides a reasonable argument to stop the other parent from seeing the child. However, this process can take time and must go through the proper legal avenues. Custodial parents who refuse to appear in court or who move their child to another place without the knowledge of the non-custodial parent will likely lose custody. They could also lose their other parental rights.

It is important to keep in mind that preventing the other parent from seeing the child can end up being a criminal case. Thus, speaking to an experienced child custody lawyer and taking the appropriate steps to modify a custody arrangement is very important. 

Attorney Ryan Besinque is a top-rated NYC child custody attorney who may be able to help you with your case. He has dedicated his years of experience to helping parents deal with complex child custody cases. He may be able to help you face yours. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

Are Children Required to Follow New York’s Visitation Orders?

Divorce can be difficult for many couples. However, it’s not only the ex-spouses who are experiencing difficulties, but also their children. 

The most vulnerable people in divorce proceedings are often the children. They may not be able to grasp why things are changing. Many children believe they are powerless over the new circumstances and can act out against their parents’ decisions. Sometimes, children end up choosing one parent over the other, even though they love both their parents.

Children are required to follow custody orders. Most custody and visitation cases allow the judge to listen to the wishes of the child provided that they are old enough to reason. Although the preferences are taken into consideration, the judge will prioritize the best interests of the child, even if it is against the child’s wishes.

If the child refuses to adhere to the visitation order, the courts may decide on other avenues to ensure that the noncustodial parent is still able to spend time with their child. A child who is already at the “employable age” under New York law may be constructively emancipated if they refuse to have a relationship with their parent for no good reason. 

Speak to the Experienced New York City Child Custody Lawyer Ryan Besinque Today

In summary, stopping a child from seeing the other parent can be a difficult and emotionally charged situation. While parents have a legal right to maintain a relationship with their children, there are circumstances in which visitation may need to be restricted or modified. If you are facing a child custody dispute, it’s important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights as a parent.

At The Law Office of Ryan Besinque, NYC child custody attorney Ryan Besinque and our team of divorce lawyers understand the importance of you being able to spend time with your child. Contact us today at (929) 251-4477 to schedule a free consultation. 

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