How Do States Enforce Visitation Interference?

visitation interferenceVisitation interference is pervasive affecting approximately 6 million children nationwide, yet most states disregard enforcing court-ordered parenting time schedules.

The law is swift and severe when child support is unpaid, but when a father is denied access to his child there are few remedies available.

However, Illinois is one of the latest states to protect visitation orders following the recent passage of legislation that applies many of the sanctions available in non-payment of child support cases to those of visitation and access interference.

The “Steve Watkins Bill” is currently awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature to become law. Sanctions would include driver’s license suspension, fines, probation, and possible imprisonment.

Currently, only five states suspend licenses (Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah) and just six states incarcerate for visitation interference (Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas).

How States Enforce Visitation Interference

• Some states define visitation interference synonymously with custody interference (Idaho, Texas, Washington).

• Visitation interference is grounds for suspending alimony or maintenance (New York).

• Penalty fees up to $500 (Minnesota, Pennsylvania).

• Penalty fees can be up to $1,000 (Montana, Michigan).

• Suspension of licenses (Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah).

• Incarceration (Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas).

• Change in custody (Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Vermont, Washington).

• The posting of a bond (Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma).

• Child Support Abatement (Missouri).

Read Related Articles:

Visitation Rights

Visitation Interference Stats

• Approximately 50% of mothers see no value in the father‘s continued contact with his children.

• Mothers may prevent visits to retaliate against the fathers for problems in their marital or post marital relationship.

• 40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the non-custodial father‘s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish their ex-spouse.

• The courts’ failure to enforce or expand visitation agreements are a frequently mentioned complaint.

• Interviewing more than 100 children researchers concluded that in most cases it was true that visitation was blocked, and that there was no justification for it.

For additional facts and source information, please view the PDF provided by Robert Ferrer, who researched the issue for Illinois Fathers.

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8 comments on “How Do States Enforce Visitation Interference?

    pro per in California
    I filed 10 affidavitt for contempt of interferance of my visitation. The court found mom in violation of 182 days of interferance. the Judge senteced her on 82 days suspended 100 and told her if she did not comply with the orders he was goin to change custody. this was June 11 2012. mom since is still not in complance I have filed 4 since June 11, and as of tonight will be filing 3 more July 9.. Keep filing the court will get tired of see us fathers in court, it will give soon or later. It took me 6 months of filing contempt violations stay with it children are presious love them do hate them..

    Pro Per in CA
    Forced to be a pro per in court due to lack of funds. As non-custodial parent I have been fighting to remain in my daughter’s life. CA allowed father to move out of state. He has been in violation of court orders for the past 6 yrs. CA has never found him in contempt and has never enforced the order. 6 volumes of court docket, judge blamed me for it. All court hearings were to enforce or violation of orders. To make a long story short, CA now relinquished jurisdiction to WA state. CA got tired of me going back to court fighting to stay in my child’s life. Now I have to appeal for improper decline of jurisdiction. Exclusive and continued jurisdiction; I still live here! More heartache, headache, frustration and less remedy to continue a relationship with my daughter. The courts have no respect for pro pers. We are a thorn in their eye. Researching now how to enforce an out of state order in WA state. Family law is without any check and balance.

    Courts don’t enforce visitation because there is no profit in it.

    Under the Child Support and Performance Act, states are rewarded for increasing child support collections, and one of the ways that they do that is to restrict our access to our children.

    Child support isn’t about the children anymore.

    It’s about profit, power, greed, and control for the state.

    Visitation NightMare
    We are in a position that was at one time the exception. We have custody of my husbands four children. (three of them are now 18 and older) Mom has decided not to visit, not to follow the court ordered visitation or even work with us when our schedules conflict.

    Bio mother refuses her visitation then likes to go all over the web and play the victim. She loves to say that she had visitation withheld but that is far from the truth. We have always tried to work with visitation including having the children read for her to pick up and she would not show up. She loved the internet forum because she would not win that issue in court as we have always been ready for her to show up for her visitation even tried to have the court force her to visit only to be told we can not force her to be mom.

    I even tried to get all her children even the older ones for a mall trip to see her as they have not seen her in ages and that blew up in my face. I’ve always wanted them to be able to count on her it just seems like she is more interested in being the victim then being mom to her children. So I guess it just depends on the person as to whom does what to visitation. I don’t think there is one answer that fits all. IF visitation is being blocked then it should be taking to court as many times as it takes someone to listen. It should be about the children not the adults. The children should be able to have both parents in their life. It does require both parents to work together.

    I have dealt with this sh!t for the past 4 years and it only gets worse. In my opinion the courts care absolutely ZERO about a father’s rights and visitation schedule NONE!

    Courts have contempt for visitation rights
    Judges refuse to enforce vistation rights. Non custodial parents have to PAY a lawyer to get visitation rights. Half the time judges don’t enforce them or slap the parent refusing visitation on the wrist. The system is unfair and corrupt. A total joke. I hope a higher power will in time deal with these gutless judges.

    Have the Judge appoint a DEPUTY from Division of Family Services
    I had this problem for years… I got the idea to have her agree to a Deputy from division of Family Services to be an unbiased observer, your lawyer could make it seem like it’s her and her lawyers idea.

    The first time after we were appointed the Deputy, I called and she immedietly called my ex and I never had a problem with visition from that moment on… and this was after 8 years of in court, slap the ex’s hand and repeat…..

    with holding visitation
    For all of you out there that are saying it is always the dad that has visits with held, let me break the news there are dads that are with holding visits just as much as the moms are. There are not only dead beat dads there are aslo dead beat moms. Just saying

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