Can a Guardian Deny Visitation?
Before this question can be answered, it is first necessary to remember the potential situations that may have warranted guardianship for a minor or an incapacitated adult.
Reasons for Guardianship
The parent or caregiver of the minor or the incapacitated adult may have fallen into one of these situations, making them unfitunable to make decisions on behalf of their minor children or themselves:
- Mental illness
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Physical/mental abusiveness
Reasons to Deny Visitation
A guardian does have the power to deny visitation of a minor or incapacitated adult if they feel the visitation could put that individual into a harmful situation. This is not absolute power; the courts may step inplace limitations on the authority, if necessary, to demand require visitation or deny visitation if there are challenges by one of the affected parties.
- The child does not want to have a relationship with the parent/visitor
- The child is scared of the parent/visitor
- The parent is continuing the bad behaviors and is not seeking treatment
- The parent’s goal is financial gain from the visitation
- The visitor is unduly influencing the incapacitated person.
Reasons to Allow Visitation for Minors
A guardian needs to remember that promoting the parent/child relationship could actually be beneficial in certain situations. The risks and benefits need to be weighed carefully to make the right decision. Here are some reasons that may warrant visitation:
- The child enjoys the interactions and wants to be part of the parent’s life
- The parent is making great strides toward becoming a better role model
- The visitation could positively impact the physical or mental health of the parent and/or child.
Other Forms of Communication
In addition to face-to-face visits, the guardian must also determine if other forms of communication such as letters, emails, texts or social media accounts could benefit both parties. If these communications put emotional strain on the child or incapacitated person, it may be best to limit, oversee or completely halt these communications.
There is no absolute right or wrong answer when it comes to guardianship visitation. Every case is completely unique and will have to be considered from all angles. If you are a guardian and are struggling with this aspect of your duties, the Denver guardianship lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC can help. If necessary, we can get file pleadings with the Court the courts involved – all with the goal of protecting the emotional, physical and financial needs of a minor or implicated incapacitated adult. Contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.