Should non-custodial parents be able to sue for being denied visitation with their children?
I watched my neighbors former spouse attempt to pick up his children for his weekend visitation for seven weeks in a row. Sometimes she would refuse to open the door, other times she would yell out of a window that he could not have the children because they were sick. The rest of the time she would simply not be home when he came. The former husband appears to be upset with the circumstance but is a whole lot calmer than I would be if I were in his place. He has filed contempt of court several times but his wife is not being held accountable for her actions, he still shows up every week.
Sounds like a good father to me. It's the kids that suffer when parents play games like this. He should be able to do something to enforce his visitation rights. If there is a reason he should not visit (if he's abusive or something) then she should be able to go to court and change the visitation arrangements as well.
I am not sure what is the court's resolution regarding visitation rights. From your story, the father frequently shows up to pick up the kids but the mother refuses most of the time. If the father has the legal right to do so, then he can seek help from the law to assert the court's ruling.
I assume he has a custody/visitation order, if he is filing for contempt.
The first thing he should do the next time he shows up at the appointed time to pick up the kids and she refuses to allow it, is call the police. They may have the authority to enfore the order. Even if they don't he will have a record of the event.
If he has filed for contempt, there should be consequences for her blatant disregard of the custody/visitation order. If the contempt filings don't produce results, he can sue to have the custody/visitation order modified, which will at least get him in a conference with a court officer or in front of a judge (depending on what state the case is handled in).
Considering what a POS his ex-wife is being, he ought to sue for primary custody if he's interested in having it. Courts generally don't look kindly on parents who don't follow the policy of keeping the best interests of the child(ren) as the top priority.
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