Can I refuse visitation when a non-custodial parent refuses to take a child to school?
In the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah), the answer is:
Unless you have a court order that allows you to refuse visitation (or “parent-time” as it is now called in Utah) if the other parent refuses to take the child to school, then NO. Utah law is very clear that the parent in your position cannot withhold or interfere with parent-time as a means of controlling or punishing the other parent.
But clearly your concerns about school attendance are valid ones. So what can you do about that? In Utah, you could:
- file a motion with the court seeking to have the other parent who is failing/refusing to get the child to school held in contempt IF there is a court order already in existence that directs that parent to ensure the child gets to school on time on the mornings the child is with that parent.
- If there is no court order already in existence that directs that parent to ensure the child gets to school on time on the mornings the child is with that parent, then you could file a petition with the court seeking to modify the child custody and/or parent-time award(s), alleging that because the other parent is failing/refusing to get the child to school the child custody and/or parent-time award(s) need to be modified to address and remedy this problem.
What you cannot do is take the law into your own hands and withhold or interfere with parent-time in response to the other parent failing to get the child to school.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277