You may have heard many people say that having a child changes you. Perhaps you felt some of those changes after your child was born. Maybe you no longer enjoyed those reckless activities you once looked forward to, and maybe you had a new purpose in life.

When you became involved in a custody battle with the child’s other parent, you undoubtedly went through many emotions. Like many parents in similar situations, you wanted full custody. The court order that granted you legal custody and gave visitation to your former partner may have been difficult to accept, especially if you and the other parent no longer get along. You may wonder now if you have to abide by that order.

The safety of the child

In most cases, when there is no evidence of abuse, the court typically wants a child to have as much time with each parent as possible. Once a custody or visitation order is in place, violating that order may be an act of contempt. If your ex complains to the court that you refuse to comply with the visitation order, you may find the consequences to be harsh. In some cases, parents in contempt of such orders have lost custody of their children.

On the other hand, you certainly don’t want your child to be in harm’s way. It may be necessary to weigh the circumstances and decide if it is better to protect your child or to obey the court’s order. Some reasons why you may want to deny visitation to your ex include the following:

  • Your ex does not have appropriate car seats to safely transport your child.
  • You believe your ex may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • You have a strong suspicion that your ex or someone in your ex’s home is physically or sexually abusive to the child.
  • Your child has told you of dangerous or illegal activities going on in your ex’s house.
  • Your ex lives in a neighborhood that is unsafe.

Your reasons for denying your ex access to the child must involve the safety or wellbeing of the child, not your own personal preferences. Additionally, even if there is a danger present, you are taking a risk to refuse visitation rights without the backing of the court. Because of this, you would be wise to seek the counsel of an attorney who is well-versed in Connecticut’s custody and visitation laws to ensure you are not placing your own custody rights in jeopardy.