Can I refuse to let my ex have visitation with the kids?

Shared parenting can be challenging for you and other divorced parents in Illinois. You may have numerous reasons you do not want to send your children to visit their other parent. However, do you have the right to withhold visitation?

The family law courts consider it important for children to maintain a relationship with both parents, in most cases. However, the thought of sharing the parenting duties could leave you with misgivings. The following situations are common reasons parents might try to prevent the other one from having visits with the kids:

  • The other parent is behind on child support payments.
  • The children are protesting the idea of visiting the other parent.
  • The non-custodial parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence.
  • Both parents have significantly different views on how to raise children.
  • The non-custodial parent has previously violated his or her end of the custody agreement.
  • The custodial parent is holding a grudge or wants to "get back" at the other parent by preventing him or her from seeing the children.

It is important to know that there is a limited number of valid reasons the court will accept you withholding visitation. As Verywell Family explains, you can keep your children from visiting the other parent if you believe they would be placed in imminent danger or if the children are vehemently opposed to visiting. To avoid being held in contempt of court, you will need to document evidence supporting your claims and present a formal request to modify your custody plan.

Withholding visitation because you are angry, not receiving child support or disagree with your ex are not considered sufficient reasons to violate your custody agreement. This information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.