This is the next article in my series on the handling of matters in which mothers are refusing to follow visitation orders. My last article discussed the process by which Las Vegas fathers may enforce an existing visitation order. It is important for dads to understand that they must go through the proper channels for dealing with such a situation. Taking matters into one’s own hands, and engaging in self-help, can actually hurt the case more than it can help it. Retaining an attorney is the first step in handling the matter correctly. In this article I will discuss the possibility of changing child custody due to a mother’s refusal to follow visitation orders. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Refusing to follow visitation orders can be a basis for requesting a change of child custody
The Clark County Family Court will change child custody when circumstances have changed since the last custodial order and if a modification would be in the best interest of the child. When determining what is in a child’s best interest, the Court will consider the following:
- The wishes of the child (depending on their age and maturity)
- The nature of the relationship between each parent and the child
- The willingness of a parent to foster a relationship between the child and their counterpart
- Whether a parent can be expected to follow visitation orders
Denying court-ordered visitation will typically be considered “changed circumstances.” The extent to which the Court will change custody, on that basis alone, will depend on the severity of the violations. If, for example, a mother has consistently been denying visitation for a prolonged period of time then the Court may be more likely to take action. If, on the other hand, the violations consist of only a few isolated incidents, then the Court may be more likely to warn the mother of potential consequences in the future. It must be remembered that how the Court will rule will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
Courts will not view the facts of the case in a vacuum when deciding whether or not to change custody. Even if it is clear that a mother has systematically been denying visitation, the father must still show that a change would be in the best interest of the child. This means that the Court will consider the needs of the youth, the ability of the father to meet those needs, whether there is a history of domestic violence, as well as several other factors. A dad will need to present a “complete picture” to the Court when making a request to change custody. An experienced attorney can assist you in determining which facts a court may consider relevant.
Las Vegas fathers should retain an attorney before filing a Motion with the Family Court
It is strongly suggested that one retain counsel prior to filing a Motion with the Family Court. An attorney will listen to your side of the story and determine the important facts to present to the Court. They will often inform you of additional evidence which should be accumulated prior to filing the Motion. This can strengthen the arguments which the Court will have read prior to the hearing. While it can be common for dads to file their Motion pro se, and retain an unbundled attorney to represent them at the hearing, it is strongly suggested that counsel draft your pleadings.
I am a Las Vegas fathers’ rights lawyer who practices solely in the area of domestic relations law. I understand that this is a vital time in your life and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.