When an Arizona couple is no longer together and shares a child, barring unusual circumstances, there will be visitation rights for the noncustodial parent. This is also referred to as parenting time. The court will issue a visitation order based on numerous factors. The best interests of the child are the most important issue. It is beneficial, if the parents can come to the agreement on their own, but if they cannot, the court will intervene. In some instances, a dispute leads to a parent disobeying the court order. And, knowing what to do in such a circumstance is important.
Either parent can violate a visitation order. Nonetheless, neither parent can take matters into his or her own hands and retaliate by denying visitation, stopping support or committing some other act that violates the law and the terms of the agreement. This generally causes the situation to escalate and makes it worse.
If there is a violation of the order, the court will handle it. The parent who has been harmed should file a written request for there to be an enforcement proceeding. It is possible that a hearing will be necessary to settle the matter.
If the order is disobeyed, the court is required to take quick action. The court has several options. It can order visitation to catch up to those visits that were missed. It can order the parent who has committed the violations to take part in parenting classes or receive counseling. Or, the court can find the parent who has committed the violations to be in contempt of court and issue fines.
It is wise for both parents to adhere to the order issued by the court. If there is a reason that the parent does not want to do so, it is better to have a foundation in the law to do that, rather than to take random steps on his or her own. Simply failing to adhere to the court order is a mistake that can cause significant problems. If there is an issue with any matter related to visitation, a qualified lawyer can be of assistance.
Source: AZCourts.gov, "Things You Should Know About Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time, pages 19-20," accessed on July 24, 2017