Title 15: Domestic Relations
Chapter 11: ANNULMENT AND DIVORCE
15 V.S.A. § 668a. Enforcement of visitation
§ 668a. Enforcement of visitation
(a) When a noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay child support or alimony and who is awarded visitation rights fails to pay child support or alimony, the custodial parent shall not refuse to honor the noncustodial parent's visitation rights.
(b) When a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent's visitation rights, the noncustodial parent shall not fail to pay any ordered child support or alimony.
(c) If a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent's visitation rights, the court shall enforce such rights unless it finds good cause for the failure or that a modification of the visitation rights is in the best interests of the child. Unless restoration of the visitation is not in the best interests of the child, enforcement of the visitation rights shall include the restoration of the amount of visitation improperly denied. When a party files a motion for enforcement of parent-child contact under this subsection, the court shall conduct a hearing within 30 days of service of the motion.
(d) A person who violates this section may be punished by contempt of court or other remedies as the court deems appropriate, including awarding attorney's fees and costs to the prevailing party.
(e)(1) If a custodial parent refuses to honor a noncustodial parent's visitation rights without good cause, the court may modify the parent-child contact order if found to be in the best interests of the child. Good cause shall include:
(A) a pattern or incidence of domestic or sexual violence;
(B) a reasonable fear for the child's or the custodial parent's safety; or
(C) a history of failure to honor the visitation schedule agreed to in the parent-child contact order.
(2) A custodial parent, upon a showing of good cause as defined in subdivision (1)(A) or (B) of this subsection, may receive an ex parte order suspending a noncustodial parent's visitation rights until a court hearing is held. A hearing shall be held within 10 days from the issuance of the order.
(f) All parent-child contact orders issued by the family division of the superior court in connection with a divorce or parentage proceeding shall bear the following statement: "A PERSON WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH ALL TERMS OF THE CURRENT ORDER GOVERNING PARENT-CHILD CONTACT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CONTEMPT OF COURT CHARGES. THE COURT MAY IMPOSE ADDITIONAL REMEDIES, INCLUDING A MODIFICATION OF THE CURRENT PARENT-CHILD CONTACT ORDER IF FOUND TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD." (Added 1989, No. 220 (Adj. Sess.), § 27a; amended 1995, No. 59, § 10; 2003, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2007, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)