When the custodial parent denies or frustrates the other parent’s visitation rights, California case law have ruled that there may be “several appropriate sanctions” that may be given, “when the custodial parent acts with an intent to frustrate or destroy visitation rights. These include holding the parent in contempt, terminating or reducing spousal support, and requiring a bond to assure compliance with the visitation order” [Moffat v. Moffat (1980)]. If the custodial parent is held in contempt, he or she may be imprisoned or fined, provided he or she had the ability to comply with the visitation order. Or the custodial parent may be required to post bond to ensure his or her compliance with the visitation order.
A parent “thwarted” by the other parent when attempting to exercise visitation (or custody) rights may file an OSC or noticed motion for reimbursement of the consequential “reasonable expenses.” As a condition to requesting § 3028 reimbursement, there must be a minimum of $100 expenses incurred or at least three occurrences of the thwarting of efforts to exercise visitation (or custody) rights within the six-month period preceding filing of the motion or OSC.[Fam.C. § 3028(a) & (c)].
In addition, attorney fees “shall be awarded” to the prevailing party upon a showing of the nonprevailing party’s ability to pay. [Fam.C. § 3028(d)]. So it is best to work with an attorney who is an expert in family law to help in resolving the issues regarding visitation rights and the appropriate steps to take.