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Five Common Reasons a Court Revokes Parenting Time or Visitation

As a general rule, a noncustodial parent should have regular and recurring parenting time or visitation with a child. With that duly noted, circumstances can arise when limiting or revoking parenting time or visitation may be necessary. There are five more commonplace reasons why a court might limit or revoke parenting time or visitation:

  • Substance use disorder
  • Physical, mental, or emotional abuse of child
  • Fear of abduction of child
  • Unsafe living environment
  • Involvement in criminal activity
Best Interests of a Child Standard

Before taking a closer look at the five most commonplace reasons why a court issues an order limiting or even revoking parenting time or visitation, understanding the judicial standard used by a judge in making such a decision is important. In determining whether to limit or revoke parenting time or visitation, judges in all states apply what generally is known as the best interests of a child standard. This judicial standard requires a judge to weigh and balance the facts and circumstances presented in a particular situation or case and determine whether or not continuing parenting time in its present form is in the best interests of a child.

Substance Use Disorder

In recent years, one of the most frequent reasons why a court revokes or limits parenting time or visitation is when a noncustodial parent develops or suffers from substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is the current medical term for what historically has been called drug abuse.

Individuals suffering from substance use disorder or an addiction to some type of mind-altering substances are deemed to be a threat to the health, welfare, and safety of a minor child. As a consequence, judicial intervention blocking such a parent from having unsupervised parenting time or visitation with a child is a typical response.

At a minimum, in a situation when a noncustodial parent is suffering from some type of substance use disorder, a judge is apt to order supervised visitation. A judge revoking parenting time or visitation until such a parent gains and maintains a state of recovery for a specific period of time is a common response of a court.

Physical, Mental, or Emotional Abuse of Child

Another situation in which a court revokes parenting time or visitation is when a demonstration is made that the noncustodial parent has been physically, mentally, or emotionally abusive of a child. When this type of situation arises, a judge typically will immediately revoke visitation and set a hearing to obtain more information about the state of affair.

The suspension of visitation may remain in effect at that juncture, and until the noncustodial parent obtains professional help. A court may agree to allow supervised visitation of some nature in the interim.

Fear of Abduction of Child

If a reasonable fear that a noncustodial parent has designs to engage in parental abduction or even to refuse to return a child to a custodial parent following a scheduled parenting time period, visitation likely will be suspended by the court. If a child is removed from the jurisdiction of the court, even to a nearby state, obtaining the return of the minor to the custodial parent can prove to be a herculean legal task. Thus, a court is likely to be most proactive when such a threat is reasonably perceived to exist and will revoke visitation for the time being.

Unsafe Living Environment

The best interests of a child are always in the paramount concern in custody, and parenting time matters. If a court deems the location of visitation to be unsafe, a judge can and likely will suspend visitation until more suitable arrangements are made.

Involvement in Criminal Activity

If a noncustodial parent is believed to be involved in criminal activity, a court may suspend or revoke parenting. Of course, in the United States a person is innocent until proven guilty in the criminal justice system. The standard is not as strong when the issue is suspending visitation on a temporary basis when evidence is presented to support a reasonable belief that the noncustodial parent is involved in criminal activity.

A custodial parent who believes visitation needs to be suspended or revoked as well as a noncustodial parent trying to defend such action are examples to individuals very much in need of legal representation. Proceedings centering on the revocation of parenting time or visitation are among the most complex and emotionally challenging types of legal proceedings in the US justice system. If you have any questions concerning parenting time, call the Law Offices Of Peter Van Aulen at 201-845- 7400 for a free initial consultation.

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