Alabama Laws for Enforcement of Child Visitation

By Elizabeth Rayne

Following a divorce, many parents are awarded visitation, which is referred to as "access" in Alabama. If you are being denied visitation with your children in Alabama, you have several options to enforce your rights. If you do not have frequent contact with your child, you may request a visitation order from the court. Additionally, if the other parent is not following an existing visitation order, you may request that the court change the terms, or in some cases, have the court issue performance bonds or penalties for contempt.

Visitation Overview

In Alabama, one parent may have custody of the children, meaning the children live with that parent, while the other parent has visitation. State law encourages custody arrangements where the children have "frequent and continuing contact" with both parents. If you do not already have an access order in place, you may file a petition with the court to request a visitation schedule. After filing your petition, the court may schedule a hearing to decide the visitation schedule. The court is likely to award access if you can demonstrate that you want to be involved in your children's lives and you are able to properly watch over them.

Petition for Modification

After a court order is in place, you have legal options to enforce your access rights in Alabama. One option is to file for a modification of custody terms. For example, based on whether the court thinks it is in the best interest of the child, the court may modify the visitation order to make up for missed scheduled visitations. Other remedies the court may order include mediation or counseling for one or both parties.

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Performance Bonds

If a custodial parent repeatedly and willfully denies visitation access, Alabama courts may order a performance bond. By posting bond, the violator has to pay a specified amount of money to the court and promise to continue to follow the visitation order. The courts may use any method deemed effective to enforce access orders, including performance bonds, modification, as well as fines or jail time.


When a parent continues to refuse access rights, you may file for contempt. Generally, parents only file contempt motions when other enforcement actions have not been effective. In filing a motion for contempt, you must fill out a petition that explains when the original visitation order was put in place and how the other parent violated the order. The court will schedule a hearing, during which you may present evidence of the times visitation was denied. The court may then modify the access order and, in some cases, may impose fines or jail time on the other parent.

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Arizona Laws for Not Following a Divorce Decree With a Child Involved


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Child Custody Law in Utah

Utah places a strong emphasis on both parents having meaningful contact with their children following a divorce. To that end, the law sets a minimum visitation requirement as part of most custody arrangements. Agreements between parents are encouraged and will be supported by the court so long as they promote the child's best interests. Utah courts retain the authority to modify an existing order if conditions change and may find a parent in contempt if an order is not followed.

Basic Child Visitation Rights in Florida Laws

During the divorce, the court will allocate custody and visitation rights between you and your spouse. However, Florida no longer uses those terms. Instead, it describes the time parents spend with their children as time-sharing. For unmarried parents, these rights can be established by opening a custody case.

Florida Family Law Statutes on Visitation

In an effort to reduce the stigma associated with being the parent with less parent-child contact, Florida has replaced the terms "custody" and "visitation" with "time-sharing." It is now a priority of the state legislature to encourage parties to work together to create a parenting plan that both fits each parent's schedule and supports the best interests of the child. Once that plan is in place, the court provides specific remedies to ensure that both parties honor the arrangement.

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