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Though you and your former spouse may not have remained amicable after your divorce, it is important that you still follow your court-ordered settlement agreements, including that of visitation rights. Read on to discover what happens if you deny court-ordered visitation rights and how one of the seasoned New York City child visitation attorneys at Zimmet Law Group, P.C. can help if your child is in danger.

How are visitation rights determined in New York?

You may have been granted sole custody over your child. However, this is not to say that your former spouse cannot still be granted visitation rights. This is because New York law holds the belief that it is oftentimes in the child’s best interest for them to keep a relationship with both of their parents, so long as they are both “parentally fit.” And so, if your former spouse requests visitation rights, the New York family court will make a final judgment based on the following factors:

  • Their reasoning for requesting visitation rights.
  • Their relationship with your child before your divorce.
  • The amount of time that has passed since they have been in contact with your child.

Can I deny sending my child to court-ordered visitation?

To reiterate, your former spouse’s visitation rights are court-ordered. So, going directly against these orders can create great trouble for your custody arrangement. For one, your former spouse may file a complaint with the court. And then, the court may revoke your right to sole custody over your child.

What should I do if my child is in danger during court-ordered visitation?

However, there is a different approach that you should take if you believe that sending your child to court-ordered visitation means that you are putting them in danger. In this emergency, you must immediately contact local law enforcement and child custody services.

Soon after, you should bring forward a request for a post-judgment modification so that you no longer have to send your child to visitation. When filing this petition, you must satisfy your burden of proof and collect enough evidence that supports your stance that your former spouse is an “unfit parent” to your child. Examples of an “unfit parent” include the following:

  • Your former spouse has been physically, verbally, or sexually abusive toward your child.
  • Your former spouse has been abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Your former spouse has been incarcerated.
  • Your former spouse does not provide a safe environment during your child’s visitation.
  • Your former spouse has a history of abducting or kidnapping your child.

You should not go through these proceedings alone. You must retain legal representation from one of the competent New York City divorce attorneys. Give our firm a call today.