Reasons to Deny Visitation Rights


Going through a divorce may not be difficult only for the couple, but for the children as well. Many children will struggle to deal with a new living situation as they move between homes. Divorce can be especially taxing on children who may not be able to visit with one parent for a variety of reasons.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

  • Parents who abuse drugs or alcohol may be at risk for losing visitation rights to their children. Those who abuse drugs or alcohol in the presence of their children may be especially vulnerable to losing visitation rights. Because such actions may be detrimental to the welfare of the child, courts may not give leniency to parents who abuse drugs or alcohol during their time with their children. To prevent losing visitation rights, a parent may agree to enroll in a substance-abuse program to demonstrate improvement.

Physical, Verbal or Sexual Abuse

  • Parents who have been documented to be abusive toward their partner or children are at high risk of losing visitation rights with their children. Physical abuse constitutes causing physical harm to others, and is not taken lightly by courts. Such behavior may also lead to incarceration. Additionally, parents who are verbally abusive toward their children may cause emotional damage; they stand to lose visitation rights if the verbal abuse is reported. Allegations of sexual abuse may also lead to revocation of visitation rights.

Poor Choices

  • Parents who allow their children to engage in risky or life-threatening behavior may lose visitation rights. Such instances may include allowing children to drink alcohol in their presence or drive a car without a license. While a lack of parenting skills may not be a cause for revocation of visitation rights, parents who are thought to endanger the lives of their children or encourage children to break the law may be at risk.

Other Considerations

  • Revoking visitation rights should only be considered in extreme cases when the child's life is endangered or his physical or emotional welfare is at risk. Parents should also consider that such allegations may cause a child to have to testify against another parent in court, which may wreak long-term emotional damage on the child. Additionally, threatening to deny visitation rights to "get even" with a partner who has scorned you is not appropriate and may harm the child further.


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