White and White Attorneys at Law
White & White Attorney

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When you think your child is harmed by court-ordered visits

If you are a divorced parent sharing custody with your ex, you already know how gut-wrenching it can be to share child custody. Now, imagine how difficult it would be to let go of your kids if you believe they suffer harm by these visitations. As you may imagine, the fear and anxiety can overwhelm a parent.

In many cases, a parent’s fear about visitation time with the other parent is not justified. Rather, it is a natural response to relinquishing care or control of the child. In your mind, you are the best person qualified to care for and protect your child, which makes it extremely difficult to let go of him or her.

However, there are times when a parent’s worst fear over child custody and visitation is justified. For example, when a child displays unreasonable resistance or outright terror during custody exchanges, a problem may exist. You will have two choices: Refuse to hand over your child and risk a court action or let the child go and risk physical or emotional harm.

How do you know what to do? Regardless of the outcome to you personally, you probably should refuse visitation if you honestly believe your child is in imminent danger. Be aware that your co-parent has the right to file a complaint against you for refusing. A more long-term solution is to seek help from a Tennessee family court. This can ensure that your kids remain safe and that you do not violate a court order.

Imminent danger is the key in these situations. If you are simply becoming concerned about your child’s overall well-being during visitations, a family law attorney can help you create an action plan that protects your kids with the court’s approval.

Source: The Spruce, “Can I Refuse to Send My Kids for Court-Ordered Visitation?,” Jennifer Wolf, accessed Jan. 31, 2018