Often grandparents are met with obstacles from the custodial parent in an attempt to keep them from visiting with their grandchildren. Many grandparents go to great lengths, spending a lot of time and a great deal of money to simply visit with their grandchildren. In the most contentious cases, grandparents endure court proceedings to secure a court order which is meant to enforce their visitation rights. But what happens when the custodial parent ignores a court order and what can be done about it?
Court orders giving visitation rights to grandparents are only granted when it is in the best interest of the child. Family court judges look for an established pattern of the parent keeping the child from seeing the grandparents. Grandparents who have been kept from their grandchildren can establish a record of this by keeping a detailed log.
Contrived Excuses vs. Valid Reasons
Custodial parents who keep their children from their grandparents sometimes use tactics such as not answering the phone or texts, not being home when grandparents come to pick up the child, claiming the child is sick, or moving without giving a new address. When illness and scheduling conflicts are valid reasons for a canceled visit, the visit should be rescheduled. Contrived excuses for the cancellation of court ordered visitation can result in serious legal consequences such as being held in contempt, fines, and possible jail time.
There are times when a child may not want to spend time with their grandparents, but family courts do not normally see this as a valid reason to deny access to the child. Moreover, the courts typically believe that parents are responsible to include grandparents in a child’s life.
Studies show a child’s psychological and emotional well-being is improved when they have several support systems in their life. When children are reluctant to visit with their grandparents, shorter visits in familiar environments are a possible solution. Judges may order counseling for the entire family to work out any issues that may exist in addition to sorting out scheduling issues.
In more extreme situations, the opposing parent may pack up and move to another state. While most states will honor visitation court orders, the grandparents may have to spend a lot of time and money to try to find their grandchildren. Even if a grandparent is successful in finding the children who have relocated, the opposing parent may continue to prevent visitation with the grandparents.
Sadly, this means that despite several attempts at enforcing a visitation order, grandparents may still find themselves denied access to their grandchildren and left without recourse.
Bel Air Grandparents Rights Lawyers Fight for Grandparents who are denied Visitation
Bel Air grandparents rights lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles understand the emotional and mental anguish loving grandparents feel when denied visitation with their grandchildren. If you are seeking to enforce a court order in a Maryland family law matter, you need to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate the complexities of filing a contempt action. At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our experienced Bel Air divorce lawyers work to ensure that all parties involved are in compliance with the orders issued.
With offices conveniently located in Hunt Valley, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Towson, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster and Essex. To schedule your confidential consultation today, contact us at (443) 589-0150 or use our online contact form.