What Happens if the Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

What Happens if the Non-Custodial Parent Misses Visitation?

A lot of parents are perplexed with child support and visitation. You’re not the only one with questions about when and how these two coincide. Under state law, the two matters are in reality separate, and parents need to acknowledge the differences between them. Whether you’re the non-custodial parent or the primary custodial parent, comprehend what your parental rights are.

Why the Courts See Child Support and Visitation Independently

From a court’s eyes, child support and child custody are two independent matters. Child support is a parent’s responsibility regardless of their parenting history or competence. Children are entitled to this financial support regardless of what kind of custody and/or visitation provisions have been put in place.

Child custody decisions, at the same time, are based on safeguarding the child’s best interests. Whereas several factors come into play, safety and regularity are typically higher on the list.

Subject to the child custody laws accepted by a specific state, the courts may also give priority over the chance to enable the children to maintain almost as much contact with each of the parents as they enjoyed before the separation and/or divorce. Non-payment of child support is rarely thought of as the reasoning to restrict the children’s time with the non-custodial parent.

Courts might recommend ample visitation or even joint custody in any event if the parent has a requirement to pay child support is up-to-date on those missed payments.

The Effect of No-Show Visitations

No-show visitations are another general point of annoyance. What is the parent supposed to do when the non-custodial parent doesn’t stick to the visitation schedule? Should the custodial parent keep setting aside time for visitation—and go through painful post-no-show outbursts and meltdowns?

Regrettably, when a non-custodial parent decides not to stick to a court ordered visitation plan, the custodial parent has very little options. They can try and communicate with the other parent and figure out why they are not involved in planned visitations. Or they could take the non- parent back to court and petition for a modified visitation schedule.

Children and Visitation Refusing

Accept it: No one may (or should) coerce children to visit with their parent when they have no desire to. Nevertheless, there could be legal consequences when working with a child’s visitation refusal. When children refuse to be involved in a scheduled visit with their other parent, you need to:

  • Speak with them about why they don’t want to be involved in the visit (if they are worried about their safety, get a hold of your attorney for counsel).
  • Reassure your children that their parents love them and that you wish for them to spend time with the other parent.
  • Clarify the ideation of visitation and why it’s important in spending time with each of their parents.
  • In some cases, talk with the other parent about letting your children take a break or shorten the time of the visits.

What If the Custodial Parent Has Refused to Allow Visitation?

As a custodial parent they need to follow the visitation schedule (occasionally known as a parenting plan) determined by the court. This is even true when the non-custodial parent isn’t paying child support. Whereas you can petition the court to impose the child support order, you need to keep allowing the visits as planned.

When the custodial parent fears looming harm, as in alleged abuse or disdain of the child, they need to get hold of the state child welfare agency and their family attorney.

Every circumstance is different. For detailed information about visitation rights and child custody, examine your state’s resources or talk with a knowledgeable attorney.


  1. Washington, D. (2020, May 29). When can you refuse parental visitation? Retrieved April 19, 2021, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/child-support-visitation-and-parental-rights-2998170

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Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer

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