You may be able to block your child’s father from visiting the child in each of the following situations:
- When there is no custodial order in place.
- When there is a custodial order.
- When the parents are unmarried.
Situation 1: There is No Custodial Order
On legal grounds, you cannot block the father from visiting the child when there is no custodial order. However, if you have conclusive evidence that the father will cause harm to the child by indulging in criminal activity, abusing the child emotionally or physically, consuming drugs or alcohol in the presence of the child, kidnapping the child, or otherwise subjecting the child to harm, then you may act as a protective gatekeeper and block the father from seeing the child.
However, you must ask your child custody attorney to provide the evidence to the court and file for a temporary restraining order that prevents the father from seeing the child. If the courts find that your blocking the father was justified because his parenting could endanger the child, then your act could work in your favor and strengthen your child custody case.
If you have unjustifiably blocked the father from seeing the child, he may call the police and/or petition the courts. If the courts find that you have acted in an irresponsible, malicious, or immature manner then it could weaken your child custody case. The father may then even petition the courts for sole physical and legal custody.
The courts decide on child custody in the best interests of the child and do not consider a lying or immature parent as an ideal parent. They also look down upon parents who unjustifiably block their child from seeing the other parent because they feel that the child will become a better and more responsible citizen when he gets the love, care, and affection from both parents.
Situation 2: There is a Custodial Order
If there is a custodial order in place, you must comply with it – period. If you block the father from seeing the child during his parenting time, you are violating the court’s directive, and that amounts to contempt of court. Your non-compliance can jeopardize your custodial rights substantially, and even make you pay fines, perform community service, or get jailed.
However, if you have evidence that the child is in danger of imminent harm, physical or mental, from the father, you must petition the courts that the father’s custodial rights should be either taken away or that only supervised visitation should be allowed. Note that any default in paying alimony or child support, or in not being precise with the visitation schedule does not qualify as harm or threat to the child. You must have solid evidence of harm the father can cause to the child’s health or safety to block the father from seeing the child.
Situation 3: Parents are Unmarried
If you are unmarried, and the father has not yet established his paternity, the mother gets the de facto sole custody of the child, and she may block the father from seeing the child. Once he establishes his paternity, he can petition the courts for custodial rights. After the courts issue a revised custodial order or grant visitation rights to the father, you have to comply with the court’s directive – unless you have evidence that the father will harm the child. If you do have such evidence, then as explained above, you can petition the courts to take away the father’s custodial rights.