When two people are separated, you may or may not be living in separate houses. When one of the parents wants to have some visitation with the child, then you need to be reasonable when it comes to allowing access to the child even if no court order is in place. There’s nothing to say that you have to hand over the child, but at the same time, there’s nothing to say that they have to hand the child back to you.
You should try to come to some sort of agreeable resolution as to what to do with the child in a given circumstance. You should always have to be looking at this from the perspective of how this is going to look in court. For example, if you’re not handing the child over, then you are keeping the parent away from the child. That may not look good in the eyes of the court. You should be thinking If you don’t provide the child to him or her, how is that going to look in court? It’s not going to look good if the court thinks you’re unreasonably withholding the child from the other parent.
However, there could be some good reasons as to why you’re withholding the child from your ex. For example, if the other parent is incarcerated. The court is not going to expect you to take the child up to visit the other parent in jail. Another reason may be withholding visiting rights with the child could be because of a domestic violence petition in place that prohibits any contact between the child and the parent. That would be another good reason.
You just have to use some common sense and ask yourself how that is going to look once you get to court? The answer to that question should reveal to you what the appropriate answer is going to be even if no court order is in place. Just remember, you have to think about how this is going to affect you and eventually the parenting plan that the court is going to order you and your ex to follow in the event you don’t come to some sort of agreement as well.