I have a friend, ten years old, who is going nuts because his father has rejected him entirely since he lost shared custody. But my friend sees his father around town, and this constantly reopens the wound.
Is there anything that can be done legally about this?
Mother petitioned to change the court order because father was physically and emotionally abusive to the child.
The court order that changed the custody arrangement states that father may have visitation at a certain frequency -- one weekend per month, one day per week, something like that. But since then there have been 0 visits, and father doesn't respond to phone, text, email or snail mail from the child or the mother.
The court order acknowledges that the father has unpredictable shift work, and says father should contact mother to arrange dates for visitation.
I think some sort of mediation would be best, because mother gets extremely nervous in court, and can't afford a lawyer. The pro bono lawyers in our town are either flaky or impose their own agenda on the person with limited means. They're not like private lawyers, who have the financial motivation to carry out the client's directives.
What happens if a custodial parent violates a visitation order? Traditionally, courts have been reluctant to impose a jail sentence when a parent withholds visitation, although it has been done. More common penalties for the persistent withholding of, or interference with, visitation are the suspension of maintenance, transfer of custody, providing make-up time, and/or requiring the payment of counsel fees.