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When non-custodial parents do not visit their child

It can be highly frustrating and angering for custodial parents in New Jersey when the non-custodial parents fail to exercise their visitation rights. Unfortunately, some non-custodial parents do disengage from their child's life, and the custodial parent may be at a loss about what to do.

It's often best if the custodial parent is able to discuss the problem with the non-custodial parent in order to try to rectify the situation. Sparing the child from feeling abandoned by his or her non-custodial parent is important. However, in the event it is not possible to get the non-custodial parent to agree, custodial parents may be able to take action by notifying the court.

Through a contempt motion, a parent can let the court know that the non-custodial parent is violating the court's parenting time order. The court will have several available sanctions that it can impose, including such things as ordering the non-custodial parent to reimburse the custodial one for any additional child care costs due to the failure to pick up the child, sanctioning the parent with jail time, increasing the child support amount and other such approaches.

It can be extremely sad to custodial parents and children alike when non-custodial parents ignore their children. By attempting to force them to follow the court's orders, it is possible the parent will see the value in forming and continuing a relationship with the child, alleviating possible feelings of loss and sadness the child may experience as a result of their parent's absence. Those who need help with child custody enforcement may be able to obtain it from a family law attorney who has experience with child custody and parenting time issues.

Source: Findlaw, "What if a non-custodial parent fails to exercise his or her designated parenting time with the minor child(ren)?", January 05, 2015

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