Rights of a Parent who is Denied Visitation Pursuant to a Court Order
Author: Kevin Edler
This article speaks to a very specific situation that Louisiana Revised Statute 9:346 addresses. What happens when a parent refuses to allow the other parent to exercise court ordered visitation with a child? What recourse does the parent who has been denied his/her rightful visitation have and what actions may he/she take? The aforementioned statute grants one action to remedy this situation. LA-RS 9:346 provides for an action to hold the spouse who denies court ordered visitation in contempt of court. If the court finds the party denying visitation in contempt of court, it can award the plaintiff:
“(1) A reasonable sum for any actual expenses incurred by the petitioner by the loss of his visitation, custody or time rights. (2) Additional visitation, custody or time rights with the child equal to the lost time. (3) All attorney fees and costs of the proceeding. (4) All costs for counseling for the child which may be necessitated by the defendant’s failure to allow visitation, custody, or time rights with the child.” If the court finds that the denial of visitation was intended to harass the petitioner, the court may also levy a penalty against the defendant.
The relevant point is that the court ordered visitation schedule is just that—a court order. Failure by either party to abide by the visitation order can result in the court holding that party in contempt of court because it refused to obey a court order. The mechanism provided by this statute can be an effective means to force a party to comply with the court ordered visitation schedule, but it is by no means the only way to handle such a situation. If you find yourself in this situation, consult an attorney to determine the best course of action.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article is or should be considered legal advice. The information in this article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, and viewing or receipt of information from this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.