Your relationship with your child is precious, so it is understandable that you are disappointed and frustrated if your rights as a parent are disrupted. Visitation enables the nonresidential parent to spend quality time with the child, which is why Indiana law now uses the term parenting time. By statute, the parent not granted custody is entitled to reasonable parenting time. However, the law does include a qualifier: A court could deny visitation when the noncustodial parent might endanger the child’s safety.
If you are a parent in such a position, you can rest assured that you do have options. While there are no guarantees, it is critical to take advantage of every possible opportunity to return parenting time rights. The approach will vary based on your circumstances, and various legal concepts must be considered. You can rely on an Indiana child custody attorney to leverage strategies and fight for a positive outcome, though an overview of your options is useful.
Decisions on child custody must comply with the child’s best interests standard, which may have been an issue when the court entered its current order denying visitation. The judge determined that granting parenting time to you did not meet this legal standard. However, you can request a modification to the child custody order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. In addition, the court also reviews whether the child’s best interests are served with a modification to allow visitation.
A judge may commit errors in ruling on child custody issues, including those denying visitation. The appeals process exists to review mistakes, with the appellate judges making corrections and instructing the family court on further proceedings. You can request a review by an appeals court by filing the proper documents within 30 days of a FINAL order on custody and parenting time.
An appeal differs from child custody modifications because you are asking judges to take a second look. A modification is a request to change the existing order, which was properly issued and not erroneous.
If it is your child’s other parent that wrongfully denied visitation, you also have remedies. For instance, a parent might attempt to withhold parenting time if upset with a co-parent or in retaliation for not paying support. This is a different way to deny visitation, but this person’s actions do affect your rights. You can file a petition for the court to enforce the existing order on parenting time, and there are penalties if your child’s other parent does not comply.
For more information on your visitation rights and options for regaining parenting time, please contact The López Law Office, P.C. You can call (317) 634-9484 or go online to speak with a member of our team. We are happy to schedule a consultation with Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera, who will advise you on the laws and potential strategies. Hablamos español.
Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area