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2011 Iowa Custody Study

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 Preserving the parent-child relationship in separated families!


Denial of Visitation

Rausch v. Rausch, 314 N.W.2d 172, 174 (Iowa Ct.App.1981) This ruling held the custodial mother in contempt for not honoring visitation rights of father. 

In re Marriage of Leyda, 355 N.W.2d 862, 866 (Iowa 1984) The Court changed custody from mother to father based on proof of alienation of child from father.  

Wells v. Wells, 168 N.W.2d 54, 64 (Iowa 1969) This ruling upheld a finding of contempt against mother for failing to return her son after a visit.

Andrew Sulma v. Iowa District Court for Washington County, 574 N.W.2d 320, Supreme Court of Iowa, Feb. 18, 1998  (pg. 322). This case dealt with a father’s refusal to allow visitation to the mother set forth under the terms of their dissolution decree. The court stated, “Andrew failed to abide by the visitation terms set out in the parties’ dissolution decree. He acted with willful disobedience, satisfying the required proof for contempt.”

Ervin, 495 N.W.2d at 745. Dissatisfaction with the stipulation does not excuse compliance.   

In re Marriage of Grabill,414 N.W.2d 852, Iowa App.,1987, Aug 26, 1987. (pg. 853) as this ruling addresses denial of visitation and states: “We therefore can find no justification for Christine’s actions in making it difficult for Dennis to exercise his visitation rights with the children. There is further evidence that Christine denied visitation to Dennis so that her boyfriend or her baby-sitter would be able to see the children instead.”  

Langner v. Mull, 453 N.W.2d 644, 649 (Iowa App.1990) The Court ruled that refusal to cooperate in ensuring visitation rights and criminal behavior and violence of husband of custodial parent provided grounds for change of custody.  

In re Marriage of Kirk, 508 N.W.2d 105, Iowa App.,1993., (pg. 108) The ruling addresses the transfer of placement from the mother to the father after the mother was found guilty of denial of visitation. This case shows action taken previously by the court regarding denial of visitation. “The power of the court to impose sanctions for failure to abide by its orders is essential to the efficient discharge of judicial functions.”    

In Re Marriage of Quirk-Edwards 509 N.W. 2d. 476, Iowa, 1993. (pg. 480) “If visitation rights of the non custodial parent are jeopardized by the conduct of the custodial parent, such acts could provide an adequate ground for a change of custody.”

In re Marriage of Wedemeyer, 475 N.W.2d 657, 659 (Iowa App.1991)  The Court ruled the campaign of vindictiveness against father to alienate children justified change of custody.

In re Marriage of Ahrenholz, 695 N.W.2d 504; 2005 Iowa App. LEXIS 1039;  Appellant Kevin D. Ahrenholz appeals from the district court's refusal to find the his former wife Beth A. Ahrenholz, n/k/a Beth A. Harris in contempt for violating certain of the custodial provisions of their dissolution decree. REVERSED AND REMANDED.