Can I be held in contempt if there is no court ordered visitation agreement?

UPDATED: Dec 4, 2011

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Can I be held in contempt if there is no court ordered visitation agreement?

I recently moved to OH from KY with the permission of the KY family court. The non-custodial parent and I declined mediation to create a new visitation agreement. Because the non-custodial parent has no vehicle, he says that if I do not provide all transportation between states for visitation, he will file contempt charges against me. I am willing to meet him halfway for all potential visitations but I cannot afford to do all the transportation both ways. Will I be held in contempt even if there is no agreed visitation order and the non-custodial parent refuses to provide any help?

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Family Law, Ohio


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding whether you can be held in contempt of court, even though there is no existing court-ordered visitation order.  Custody, child support, and visitation can be difficult issues to address, since every situation is unique, and the court will always examine what is in the best interest of the child.  Sometimes what the court views as the best interest of the child, is not the best interest of the parents.  While a parent may want to explore new scenery and move far away to an exotic land, the court may not think this is the best interest for the child to move away from their other parent.   

When a court determines custody and visitation, the court will often consider which parent is more likely to keep the relationship with the ongoing.  The parent who is more willing to support the continued relationship between the child and other parent, may be the parent who maintains custody of the child.

At this time you could not be held in contempt, because contempt refers to violating a court’s order.  However, if your ex files for custody and a visitation arrangement is court-ordered and you do not comply with the court’s order, you can be found in contempt.  Sometimes the court allows a parent to move with the child if that parent will bear the costs of visitation with the other parent. 

There are a number of factors to consider, and you may find it helpful to contact a family law attorney in your area that can guide you through this process.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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