There seem to be some confusion about when parents need to withhold visitation from the absent parent. It's really quite simple as far as most states are concerned, but for each parent, it's not quite so black and white. And while the law seems to give all of the power to the custodial parent, it also gives that parent all of the responsibility. Do you know your rights as the custodial parent? Are you sure?
If visitation is denied, the absent parent does not have to pay child support. Based on my observations in a courtroom, this statement is completely untrue. Child support and visitation have nothing to do with each other. If a father pays support and is denied visitation, this is something he has to bring up to the court as a separate issue than child support.
If child support isn't paid, visitation can be denied. Again, child support and visitation are often separate issues as far as the court is concerned. In fact, they pretty much have to be in order to deal with the requirements each parent needs to meet. Even if child support isn't paid, denying visitation that has been ordered by the court is a great way to get yourself a "Contempt of Court" charge, which basically means that you disobeyed the order of the court.
Visitation can be denied if the absent parent is demonstrating impaired judgment. No, this does not mean that you have the right to withhold visitation because you don't like the choices of the absent parent. However, if the parent is intoxicated or in such an emotional state as to make visitation unsafe, you not only have the right to withhold visitation, but you are legally bound to. If as the custodial parent, you were to allow your child to leave with someone who was not in their right mind and the child gets hurt, not only would you feel guilty for the rest of your life, but the courts would hold you responsible for making a poor parenting choice that jeopardized the safety of your child.
Police officers can enforce visitation. This is absolutely false unless directly ordered by the court. Most police officers don't even want to be involved in such domestic disputes and are certainly not going to force visitation. If the custodial parent refuses visitation without valid and verifiable reasons in the eyes of the court, they will likely be held in contempt of court and ordered to follow through with the visitation schedule if the absent parent takes the matter to court.
Parents can refuse visitation based on the presence of an unwanted person. Actually, parents can refuse visitation anytime they want to, as long as they realize there may be consequences. You cannot control what the absent parent does when he or she has your child, nor can you control who they are around. If you feel that the other parent may be exposing your child to a dangerous person or situation, the best thing that you can do is get a Restraining Order from the court against the unwanted person. Then, it is up to the other parent to enforce the order while they child is in their care
The bottom line is that both parents need to exercise good judgment and face their own responsibilities. Recognize that child support and visitation are two separate issues in the eyes of the court, no matter how you feel about them personally.
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References: Personal experience