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Access / Parenting Time Denial

parents fighting

Divorce or separation can be hard on all of the parties involved, especially children. Ending a relationship is often emotional, and having continued interaction with your ex can bring up frustrations and hurt feelings. It’s important not to let these emotions take over. Whether separated or divorced, parents will still need to communicate with each other in order to make decisions about their children and during parenting time exchanges.

separation of assetsWhile it can be challenging to have a neutral relationship with an ex, it’s important to try and separate those feelings from your parenting duties. Learning early on how to co-parent will be a great exercise for future events both you and your ex will want to be a part of such as; graduations, weddings, holidays, and births of grandchildren. 


According to U.S. Census reports in 2009, approximately 1 in 6 custodial parents were fathers (17.8 percent). Since mothers overwhelmingly gain custody and the custodial parent acts as the gatekeeper determining who sees the child, a custodial parent seeing no value in a visit to dad could make it difficult on fathers. 

  • According to research conducted by Joan Berlin Kelly, author of “Surviving the Break-up,” 50 percent of mothers “see no value in the father’s continued contact with his children after a divorce.”
divorce legal separation

  • The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry report “Frequency of Visitation by Divorced Fathers,” claimed that “40 percent of mothers reported that they had interfered with the noncustodial father’s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish their ex-spouse.”
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As a noncustodial parent, fathers may find themselves seeing their child every other weekend and that is if their parenting time isn't thwarted.  Having visitation orders doesn’t assure fathers will see their children. A lot of fathers complain that while they have joint custody, they still haven’t seen their child in six months or more.


broke poor business man empty pockets isolated white 53355261Even when couples go to court and receive visitation orders, fathers don’t always get their time, due to limited visiting terms and thwarted visits. When this happens, the fathers' only recourse is to return to the court system, spending money that ultimately runs out. Instead of parents working out custody arrangements in a civil, considerate manner, some families are funneled into a billion dollar divorce industry where children are paying the price.

Parents who don’t pay, or fall behind, in their court-ordered child support will be contacted by a state agency, possibly costing them their drivers licenses, business licenses, passports, and even jail time. However when there is visitation denial, there are no state agencies or free services available for noncustodial parents, primarily fathers. The option of returning to court is ineffective and costly for fathers, most of whom decide to simply pay child support and forgo the court fights when money is tight.

They punish fathers for defaulting on child support; why isn’t there equal punishment for custodial parents who
deny visitation? Research consistently shows that emotional support is just as important, if not more important, than child support.

The real loser in loss of parenting time, is the child, who may feel unloved and unwanted.
They not only bobgrandparentslose contact with a cherished and needed father, but also with the extended family of grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

If a child is confident that both of their parents are trying to work together for their well-being, the child tends to adapt better to the divorce or separation of their parents and their new living arrangements. This sense of security can help prevent disruption in their social life, education, and at home. 

post card1Children often mimic the behaviors of parents, both the good and the bad. With both parents working together constructively, the child will be provided with two fine role models to follow. This is a far better example for children to see than two parents arguing on a regular basis and the loss of a parent due to access and parenting time denial. An effective parental partnership is certainly possible when both parents see the benefits of shared parenting.