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Do I have the right to refuse my ex visitation?

You and your ex may have had a difficult time after the breakup. Undoubtedly, you struggled through many serious disagreements, and you may have had to fight hard to win legal and physical custody of your child. Difficult as it may be to turn your son or daughter over to your ex for visitation days, you have complied for the sake of your child.

As much as you may recognize how important it is for your child to spend as much time with both parents as possible, there may be times when you want to refuse the visitation rights of the other parent.

Reasons for refusal

You and the other parent had an argument. Maybe the other parent showed up late for pickup, and you want to teach him or her a lesson by refusing to allow the child to go. Any situation like this may lead to trouble for you if you deny your ex the visitation rights assigned by a Louisiana court.

However, suppose your ex arrives for pickup and is visibly intoxicated? This may be one circumstance that validates your refusal of visitation rights.

Others may include the following:

  • Your child comes home and reports that your ex was using drugs or drinking in the his or her presence.
  • Your child returns home with evidence of physical abuse.
  • Your child tells you that your ex was violent with someone else in the house, such as a new spouse.
  • You are aware that your ex keeps weapons where they are accessible to the child.
  • Your ex lives in a neighborhood that has a high rate of crime, or crimes have occurred in your ex's home.
  • Your ex is in jail, and you feel that visits to the jail or prison are not in your child's best interests.

While each of these and others may seem like reasonable excuses to deny visitation rights to the other parent, you are still walking a fine line if you take these matters into your own hands. Changes in court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements must occur through the proper channels, and this means taking your concerns to court for a judge's opinion.

In order to present the most convincing case to the court, you will need to demonstrate that your ex's home is unfit for visitation. The judge may require your ex to undergo substance abuse treatment, submit to supervised visitation, move to a safer neighborhood or take other steps to provide a safe and secure place for the child. Seeking assistance from a legal ally may provide you with additional resources to make your case in court.

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