What to do if my employer will not honor my court ordered visitation?

UPDATED: Jan 23, 2011

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What to do if my employer will not honor my court ordered visitation?

I normally work Tuesday through Saturday nights. I can work Monday through Friday every other week. Does my employer have the right to tell me that I have to work on a Saturday or Sunday of my visitation weekend when court divorce papers say that I get her every other weekend?

Asked on January 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Your divorce papers (including the visitation order) are only legally binding on you and your ex-spouse.  Accordingly, if your ex was refusing you visitation, then you could go to court and the judge could hold them in contempt of violating the order.  However, your employer was not a party to your divorce action, so it is not bound by the court's visitation order.  Therefore, if your employer will not give you the time off that you need to to see your child, that's its choice.  The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at-will".  This means that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as they see fit.  In turn, an employee can work for an employer or not, their choice. 

Note:  The exceptions to the above would be if there is a stated company policy contrary to the way in which your situation is being handled, or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of workplace discrimination. None of which seem to be the case here.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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