If you are a custodial parent in Indiana who has concerns about your child’s visitation with their other parent, you might wonder if you can stop visitations until the concerns are addressed. While custody and visitation can be modified, you cannot simply stop the other parent from seeing their child without legal support.
Visitation and the best interests of the child
In most custody cases, the court considers it in the best interest of the child to have consistent contact with both parents. While the amount of visitation might vary with each case based on the child’s age and needs, continuing the bond between parent and child is usually beneficial for the child. However, if you as the custodial parent become concerned with the possibility that visitation with the other parent is harmful to the child, you should seek the court’s permission to modify the visitation order.
Reasons for seeking to end or limit visitation
There are specific situations when courts might consider limiting or stopping visitation. These include:
- Physical or emotional abuse of the child by the parent with visitation or someone who lives in their household
- Sexual abuse of the child by the non-custodial parent or someone in their household
- Substance or alcohol misuse or abuse by the non-custodial parent when they are with the child
- The non-custodial parent’s incarceration for a crime
In all these situations, the custodial parent who is seeking to limit or end visitation must provide evidence to support their concern. Evidence can be provided in the form of witness testimony, police records or medical records. It must also show the concerning behavior happening since the last visitation schedule was issued.
Only the court can modify a visitation order. If you refuse visitation, particularly without due process or evidence, you can find yourself legally responsible for the other parent’s court costs and even risk losing custody.