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Can I be held in contempt of court for visitation if no visitation was established by the court?

Michigan City, IN |

I received a petition filed by my child's father. It says I am held in contempt of court because he claims I refused to allow him to see our son. 1. I have basically begged and pleaded with him to be involved with our son (and have text to prove so) 2. I denied dropping our son to him alone because he admittedly can not change a diaper or make a bottle (text to prove that too) 3. There has been no court order (to my knowledge) to set up visitation. I don't believe he had the help of a lawyer (since I was listed as the petitioner) but it was stamped by our local court office so I'm guessing it's legit but how can I be held in contempt of court for something where there was NO court order?

Add'l Info...We have had a DNA test done by child support so he does have proof he's the father if that makes a difference. He didn't show up on time for the reading of the results and the administer informed me when he did show up she would not give him any information (he had to wait for it to be mailed) so I know parental time wasn't setup then either. I'm not trying to keep him from his son so I'm not sure why he's doing this, spite I guess because I didn't have the abortion he demanded. He's been really mean and absent since he started back talking to me when our son was around 7 months (stopped speaking to me because I didn't have an abortion and has only seen his son twice, my doing) and I told him he couldn't file him on his taxes. Hope that helps clear up anything I didn't add the first time. Thank you all for your help!

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

Your child's father can file a petition asking the court to do all kinds of crazy things, and the court can say no. This often happens when people write their own pleadings without counsel. If he has no court-ordered parenting time schedule, you cannot possibly be held in contempt of court for not following it. However, be careful! If he has established paternity, there may be a court order that simply refers to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines or orders you to agree on reasonable visitation times.
It is possible that the court will simply treat this like a petition to establish a visitation schedule. If you believe there is a good reason to deviate from the parenting time guidelines, you should be prepared to explain why. For infants visitation is typically frequent very short periods of time during the day, but unless there's a very good reason he will be allowed to spend that time alone with his son.

A few hours of parenting time for Dad during the day now and then might be a good thing. I didn't know how to change a diaper or make a bottle when I had my daughter. He'll figure it out pretty fast.


You cannot be held in contempt of court for denial of visitation if there is no order awarding the father visitation.

The answers provided are for informational purposes only and shall not be considered legal advice on your specific fact situation. If you would like information specific to your particular fact situation, please feel free to contact me directly.

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