Family Mediation Service in Edinburgh provide a comprehensive guide regarding divorce mediation. When parents separate or divorce, one of the most challenging aspects is determining child custody arrangements. There may be times when one parent is preventing the other from meeting their children, leaving the affected parent feeling helpless and frustrated. In this article, we will explore parental rights and what can be done if one parent is preventing the other from having contact with their children.
Legal Rights of Parents
Both parents have legal rights to their children, regardless of their relationship status. This includes the right to make decisions about their children’s lives, such as where they live, go to school, and receive medical treatment. Additionally, both parents have the right to have a meaningful relationship with their children.
When Can a Parent Prevent Contact?
In general, one parent cannot prevent the other from having contact with their children unless there is a court order in place that limits or prohibits contact. If there is no court order, both parents have equal rights to their children and should be able to see them.
Reasons Why a Parent May Prevent Contact
While it is generally not permissible for one parent to prevent the other from having contact with their children, there may be circumstances where it is necessary. Some reasons why a parent may prevent contact include:
- Concerns over the other parent’s behavior: If a parent has concerns over the other parent’s behavior or character, they may prevent contact to protect the child from harm.
- Fear of abduction: A parent may prevent contact if they fear that the other parent will abduct the child.
What to Do If Contact is Prevented
If one parent is preventing the other from having contact with their children, it is important to take action. The first step is to attempt to resolve the issue through mediation or negotiation. If this does not work, the parent being prevented from contact may need to seek legal advice and consider taking legal action.
Legal Options Available
There are several legal options available to parents who are being prevented from having contact with their children, including:
- Filing a petition for custody or visitation: This is a formal legal request made to the court to establish custody or visitation rights.
- Requesting enforcement of an existing court order: If there is already a court order in place that is being violated, the parent can request that the court enforce the order.
- Seeking a restraining order: In cases where there is domestic violence or abuse, a restraining order can be sought to protect the parent and children.
In conclusion, both parents have legal rights to their children, and one parent cannot prevent the other from having contact with their children without a court order. If you are being prevented from having contact with your children, it is important to take action and seek legal advice. At Family Mediation Service in Edinburgh, we understand the complexities of child custody disputes and are committed to helping our clients find effective solutions. Contact us today to learn more.