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Can a custodial parent deny visitation in Georgia?

by Sharon Jackson  on June 13, 2022 under 

If a parent violates a Georgia court order involving visitation or custody, the other parent can file a request with the court asking for the order to be enforced and the parent to be held in contempt.

When divorcing, parents must select who will raise their children and who will make key choices on their behalf. In other words, they must decide who will have physical and/or legal custody, as well as whether any of it will be shared. As long as the agreement serves their child's best interests, parents can agree on how to split custody and visitation.

Visitation Laws in Georgia

According to Georgia visitation rules, if only one spouse has physical custody, the other spouse is still allowed to see their child. Whether the court or the parents decide on the parenting agreement, the court will issue an order with a systematic method indicating when the child will be with each parent, and both parents must follow the order.

In this situation, a visitation plan has been established which can be agreed to by both parents if their divorce is friendly or otherwise ordered by the court.

The judge is unlikely to limit visiting privileges, and they will only do so in exceptional circumstances where a parent is negligent, abusive, or unsafe for the child.

Other Parties' Visitation Rights in Georgia

A third-party family member, such as a grandparent, great-grandparent, or a parent's siblings, can request for visitation rights under Georgia law.

In Georgia, however, grandparents' rights can only be granted if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The child's parents are separated or divorced.
  • Grandparents rights are in the best interests of the child.
  • Without visitation, the child's health and/or well-being would be endangered.

Courts make decisions based solely on the impact that some actions may have on children, not on the impact that actions may have on third parties.

It's important to remember that visitation isn't the same as custody, and grandparents who want custody of their grandchildren must have a good reason. As a result, before submitting any documentation with a court, it is important to consult with a legal expert

Violations of Visitation Orders

Any parent who violates child visitation guidelines will be held liable, according to Georgia family law. Either parent can submit a motion against the other, get them served, and wait for a hearing date to be set.

What happens if the custodial parent refuses visitation in Georgia?

If a visitation violation is found, the judge may impose make-up visits, parenting programs for the guilty spouse, adjustments to the child's transportation agreements, or fines and/or jail time in the case of substantial and persistent obstruction. The offending parent may also be ordered to pay any costs incurred as a result of the violation, including legal fees.

The judge can order visitation modifications at the contempt hearing, but not custody changes. The non-custodial parent must file a second request to alter the custody order if there are reasons for a change in custody, such as the custodial parent routinely interfering with visits.

Contact a skilled child custody attorney

Child custody and visitation issues can be lengthy and complex. If your ex is breaking a custody or visitation agreement, you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

Call Attorney Sharon Jackson at (678) 909-4100 today to discuss the best ways to protect your rights.

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