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Can one parent deny another access to a child during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2024 | Divorce

During the emotionally charged period of a divorce, questions often arise about parental rights, especially regarding access to children. It’s a complex issue before a court establishes a formal child custody order.

Understanding the legalities and rights of each parent in this interim phase is crucial for both protecting the children’s best interests and respecting each parent’s legal rights.

Equal rights of parents

In most cases, both parents have equal rights to their children if/until a court says otherwise. This means that, legally, one parent can’t deny the other parent access to their children without a court order stating they have the right to do so. Both parents have the same legal authority to make decisions regarding their child’s welfare and living arrangements. However, the situation can become complicated, and several factors must be considered during this transitional phase of a divorce.

Emergency situations and safety concerns

In certain emergency situations, a parent might be justified in denying access. If there is immediate concern for the child’s safety, such as if abuse or neglect are concerns, a parent may protect the child. In such instances, it’s vital to seek legal advice and possibly involve law enforcement or social services if necessary.

Quick legal intervention is crucial to ensure that any protective actions are within legal bounds and to facilitate the establishment of a formal custody arrangement that addresses these safety concerns. Putting the children’s safety first is crucial in these cases.

During a divorce, particularly before a custody order is in place, both parents should learn what’s allowable in the eyes of the law. In some cases, it might be necessary to proceed with filing for a temporary custody order. Having someone to help navigate through these matters is critical for everyone involved.

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