Sticking to your custody agreement is very important, as it is part of your overall court-ordered parenting plan. So what happens when your child doesn’t want to visit you or their other parent?
Family Law Attorney Daniel Zarnowski provides some suggestions on what to do if your child doesn’t want to visit.
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What to Do if Your Child Doesn’t Want to Visit
Let’s say your child has had a good relationship with his dad in the past. What happens if suddenly your child doesn’t want to visit his Dad’s house and you have a 50-50 custody agreement? This is one of the more difficult scenarios divorced parents might find themselves in.
First, The Facts
What’s going on to prompt your child to not want to visit their dad? Did something happen the last time your child when to stay at his dad’s house?
Generally, court expect parents of young children to be able enforce the parenting time agreement with few problems. So if you have a child below, say the age of 13 or 14, courts really expect you to make sure your child gets to the other parent’s house to fulfill a 50-50 custody plan.
Let’s consider, though, what might happen if your child is a teenager and he’s simply refusing to go to the other parent’s house.
Kids of that age can be difficult. They often express their choices in difficult and frustrating ways. They can throw the teenage version of a fit: crossing their arms, refusing to get in the car. In this case, the teen could have made plans to hang out with their friends on your side of town, or maybe they’re just excising their raging hormones.
When you have a teenager, there may not be much you can do to get them to go to the other parent’s house.
What the Court Expects
The court expects your to encourage your child to go visit their other parent. If your ex takes you to court, accusing you of not letting him or her see their child, you’ll probably have to explain to the court the steps you’ve taken to encourage your child to go to the other parent’s house.
It’s really important to make sure that the court knows what steps you have taken, and whether the child is actually refusing to go or whether you’re just not facilitating the exchange.
Custody arrangements can get pretty difficult when a child doesn’t want to visit their other parent. The agreements very much rely on the facts in the case. The age and maturity of you child may have a lot to do with problems that might come up.
An experienced attorney from the Family Law Team at Robinson & Henry can review your situation and possibly suggest some changes changes that might make to make the process run more smoothly.
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