©2019 Divorced Moms. As kids get older, they sometimes resent how visitation seems to interrupt their plans. the parent who suddenly finds himself the victim of violations of the order is perfectly correct to take the case back to court and demand to be made whole for the time that (he may consider) was stolen from him. No steps have been taken. Then Jennifer became involved and this once amicably divorced couple experienced their first post-divorce conflict. If the reason does not directly impact their safety or well-being, your child should attend visitations. the parents are legally responsible for following the custody order (if one is in place). Some children in these cases do not want to visit with their non-custodial parent. Michael thought it was Jennifer’s fault that Craig didn’t want to visit; Jennifer felt defensive and lashed out at Michael. Or the custodial parent is simply unable to physically force an older child to follow the custody schedule. The custodial parent’s attorney has a duty to help the client avoid these situations. They can only follow it, they possess no power to enforce.A Different PerspectiveA school can refuse to release a child to the non-custodial parent. Yet, parents with younger children will need to play a more active role in ensuring that visits happen. you claim that any reasonable parent would avoid court as escalating the conflict in the child’s life, but quite obviously that is contradicted by what actually happens: parents who love their children DO go to court, all the time, and escalate the conflict. The article is ABOUT compromise. Wheeler, 253 GA 649 (1984) found that a child aged 14 and older has the right to choose not to visit the non-custodial parent. Hire a child psychologist to review and evaluate your child’s reasons for the refusal, 3. The custodial parent then is threatened with incarceration or a change in primary custody unless they physically force the defiant child to follow the custody schedule. You are doing great harm by suggesting anyone should refuse to comply with court orders. I’ve worked in the field of divorce for 14 years. Record dates and times your child refuses and the circumstances surrounding the refusal. As parents, we have that advantage. This includes assuring a relationship with both parents inasmuch as it is possible. IDK if that actually helped. Our firm was involved in one case where the judge told the child during the custody hearing that the court was not going to make the child do “anything he didn’t want to do.” Essentially, the court granted that child carte blanche to control the situation and, by extension, the parents. However, a parent with a young child versus a parent with a teenager are two very different scenarios. Sometimes it depends on which judge is hearing the matter. Until recently this arrangement worked well for both the parents and children. Threaten to send the kid to juvie?? But, since she is over 12, your daughter is old enough that she can express her preferences to a judge and, if the judge thinks its in the child's best interest to do so, he or she can modify the order. In some cases, the child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial turmoil or stress related to the divorce. And, most people don’t jump, right off the bat, to a point of view that paints the other parent as the bad guy. And force how? What we have to do is make sure our children learn that they are safe in communicating with us. Yes, divorced, they still have to sit down *together* with their child to work things out. Michael needs to start planning his time with his children in a way that allows Craig to also have plans of his own away from time with his father.” NO! I have sole physical and legal custody, so I have a lot of leeway for deciding what is right for the kids. What I got from it is that she was explaining to her ex how the child feels. Custodial parents face a difficult issue when a minor child refuses to visit with the other parent. Can a child refuse to visit the non custodial parent? All I could do was reassure her that I wanted the visit to happen, and welcomed her into the house to try. In instances of a child refusal’s, there are a few options parents can take. I worked as a guardian ad litem for 5 years. Refusing to drag a teenager by the arm, and throw him/her into a car when they don’t want to go, isn’t a violation of a court order. However, it is not unheard of that a threat to a child’s well-being exists. people behave in unpredictable ways when confronted with stress situations, and often act in ways that they are completely ignorant of the consequences. If they were still married and Mike was having an issue with his teenage son, it would be up to Mike to address the issue with his teenage son, not Mike and Jennifer. There was a time when my daughter was very angry with her mom and refused to visit her, despite my insistence. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Why should Jennifer be held responsible for helping Mike work through an issue with his teenage son? I was up for anything short of verbally attacking or physically dragging our daughter out. If you…, Becoming a grandparent is a special event in one’s life, and grandparents often form close and meaningful bonds with their…, Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. My suggestion, that they all sit down and work it out together, is the only approach that can keep them out of court. Michael’s scheduled parenting time will need to turn into shared parenting time with Craig’s friends and interests. Appraise your spouse ahead of time that you will be taking the child to a therapist. If your child is refusing visitation with your co-parent due to a reason that directly concerns their safety, bring this to the attention of your attorney or other legal professionals immediately. We can accommodate early morning, late evening and weekend appointments. Follow through with several appointments such that firm information can be gathered. In my opinion, FCCDAD is just naive. They may wonder if the … They have three children ages 6-14. This can be tricky because a child may refuse visitation with a parent for a legitimate reason. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Custody cases never end so long as there is a child for the court to hold authority over. An older teen may outright refuse visits and there’s not a lot that a parent can do. to go to another house. The onus is on the non-custodial parent to be more understanding of how the child feels. second, you clearly missed my point. These situations reflect about 90% of the custody disputes out there. In the end, I scheduled some counseling time for our daughter that eventually included her mom. Family law questions? List every concern or development that results in your inability to adhere to the schedule. Whether you are a divorced parent or not, here is the reality of raising children, the older they become, the less interested they are in spending time with you. In most situations where a child suddenly no longer desires to visit, the problem may be as simple as time with Mom and Dad is no longer being a priority for them. As outlined in their final decree of divorce they split custody of the children on a 60/40 basis. Arden Mullen, Marriage and Family Therapist, Why Women Initiate Divorce More Often Than Men, The Virtues of Vulnerability During Divorce, Stay-At-Home Orders and COVID-19: A Nightmare For Victims of Domestic Violence, Why I Stayed So Long In a Psychologically Abusive Relationship, 10 Completely Legal Ways To Get Back At Your Cheating Husband. On one hand, the custodial parent doesn’t want to face penalties or possible jail-time for violating a court-imposed custody schedule. first, please do not make blanket statements about what “any reasonable parent” would do. When a child refuses to visit the other parent, it can cause problems for both parties--including a disruption of a parenting schedule both parents have worked around and adjusted to. But on the other hand, the parent naturally wants to protect the child from potential psychological or physical trauma resulting from forcing the child to visit an untrustworthy parent. These type of problems are way more complicated, from an emotional point of view… than just going to court. Merely “encouraging” the child to decide to visit the other parent is not enough. *IF* there is an order in place, then there are serious legal consequences that MUST be considered, before requesting a change and absolutely before violating it without the court’s approval.