While you may have full physical and legal custody over your child, your former spouse may still have some level of visitation rights with your child. You may be hesitant to send your child to these scheduled visitation times, as you may not believe that such visits are in their best interest. However, this may not be for you to decide; rather it may be the decision of the New Jersey family court. Continue reading to learn whether to refuse visitation with or without a court order and how an experienced Bergen County child custody attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can work in favor of your child’s protection.
As a parent, can I refuse to send my child to visitation without a court order?
The New Jersey family court may hold onto the belief that it is in the best interest of your child to maintain a relationship with you and their other parent alike. This is why, at the very least, the court may grant your former spouse visitation rights. With a court-ordered visitation schedule, your former spouse may be allowed to frequently visit and contact your child.
You must understand that you cannot take it upon yourself to stop taking your child to their scheduled visits. This applies even if you believe that your reasoning is in the best interest of your child. If you do so, then you may be found in contempt of a court-mandated order. With this, you may risk losing your full physical and legal custody rights over your child. What’s worse, you may be barred from any type of custody rights over your child altogether.
How can I officially submit a court order to terminate visitation rights?
Rest assured, you may legally stop sending your child to visitation after officially petitioning for a post-judgment modification with the New Jersey family court. In your petition, you must prove that extenuating circumstances have arisen that make it generally unsafe for your child to attend their court-ordered visitation sessions. More specific examples of relevant extenuating circumstances are as follows:
- Your child’s other parent has been proven to have a substance abuse issue.
- Your child’s other parent has been proven to have a history of domestic violence.
- Your child’s other parent has been proven to have a history of neglecting or abandoning your child.
- Your child’s other parent has been proven to have a mental incapacity to properly care for your child.
It is worth mentioning that if you cannot wait for your formal petition to be processed through the legal system because your child is in imminent danger, then you may file your family case as an emergent matter. All in all, to effectively fight for the termination of visitation rights, you must turn to a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. So please get in touch with us at McNerney & McAuliffe as soon as you get a free chance.