A parent’s impulse to protect a child is primal. A child under five may appear clingy, cry, scream or pretend to be ill. A therapist may be able to learn more about what is the root cause of the child’s refusal. Too often judges fail to recognize and aptly consider the traumatizing effects that the parents’ relationship with each other and with the child may have had on the child’s psyche. What does the court do when a child refuses to visit with a parent? In some cases, the child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial turmoil or stress related to the divorce. Supporting the visitation schedule is an important way to encourage them to build and maintain that bond. As a parent you may feel like your hands are tied, especially after a divorce or separation. Parents often lament that children have minds of their own, and there's no doubt that this statement rings true for many families. If they are a custodial parent, they can lose their custody rights to the child, or have their custody reduced. Why? 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. Sometimes the custodial parent may request that you keep your child … Oftentimes, a non-custodial parent might have set limitations on their legal rights to make major decisions on behalf of the child. In extreme circumstances, one final tactic would be for the custodial parent to request that the child be appointed his or her own attorney. A custodial parent is one who has physical and legal custody of the child, meaning that the child primarily lives with them. The reasons as to why your child is refusing visitation with your co-parent are unique to your situation, but some causes might include: Your child is unhappy with the rules they must follow at your co-parent's house. Why? 2> The custodial parent has sole custody. 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. The situation is increasingly … They are naturally skeptical when arguments are put forth todo that. This means, you're obligated to make a child in your care available for visits with the other parent as laid out in the custody order.A parent may have a different role in making visits happen for a four-year old child versus a 14 year-old one. 1. In most states, the courts consider taking a child from his parent with the intent to interfere with that parent's physical custody of the child, even if the that parent also has custody rights, as a crime that is punishable by jail time, according to Myfamilylaw… However, in the court’s eyes, such testimony will provide unbiased evidence that there is a legitimate threat to the child’s well-being. 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. Request that an independent attorney represent your child, Seeking an Attorney to Represent a Child to Avoid Contempt when the Child Refuses to Visit with a Parent, How Bucks County Child Support May Affect Your Divorce, Grandparent Rights to Visitation or Child Custody in Pennsylvania. The therapist will need to appear and serve as a witness at any court proceedings regarding the custody schedule. Your co-parent lives far away from their friends, school, activities, and other things they enjoy. Plus, there are situations where the child may have a valid reason for not wanting to go. When a child refuses to visit with a parent, this scenario (1) prompts distrust and suspicion between the parents, (2) creates an awkward situation between the parents and the child, … You may still harbor bad feelings for your ex, but this person is also the parent of your child. If you don’t comply with the visitation schedule, you can get in trouble for not making them go. Custodial parents face a difficult issue when a minor child refuses to visit with the other parent. First of all, the court has a mandate to protect the best interests of the child. Badmouth the other parent. These are serious situations, and they do occur. When you say nasty things about your ex or use your child as a go-between you aren’t getting back at your ex, you’re harming your child. NEXT:  SEEKING AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT A CHILD TO AVOID CONTEMPT WHEN THE CHILD REFUSES TO VISIT WITH A PARENT, In extreme cases, when a child is refusing to visit with a parent and the court is threatening the primary…, Most divorces involve couples with children. In the case of older children, record attempts to discuss possible consequences from refusals and the possibility that the custody order can be altered to even greater detriment. They are not legitimate reasons for refusing to follow court orders. Often, a child may not want to openly discuss their issues with the other parent with the custodial parent. But this is usually only possible if the non-custodial parent is willing to … A parent should not act on a child's initial impulse; instead, the parents should communicate about possible causes of the child… However, there's not a lot of tolerance when a child exercises that willpower by refusing visitation. Older children may become … The Custody Factor This refusal may result from alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. A question custodial parents often ask is, “What can I do if the other parent doesn’t show for visitation?” As parents, we feel our child’s pain when the other parent fails to exercise parental visitation. The child refuses the visit. Many custodial parents are hesitant to force their child into visitation if it makes the child unhappy. To continue helping individuals and families that are in need of our services, we are open, accepting calls and scheduling virtual consultations and appointments via videoconferencing through Zoom and Skype. A parent’s impulse to protect a child is primal. Second, hire a child psychologist or therapist, and have the child’s fears and concerns documented by someone other than yourself. These situations reflect about 90% of the custody disputes out there. Re: 17-Year-Old Will Not Return to Custodial Parent, Non-Custodial Parent Taken to Co It is up to your ex to prove you in contempt. Some states protect the non-custodial parent's right to maintain an ongoing relationship with their children, while other states protect the custodial parent's right to relocate for employment or family reasons… Custodial parents face a difficult issue when a minor child refuses to visit with the other parent. lationship with each other and with the child may have had on the child’s psyche. The laws governing a child and his or her right to choose which parent with whom to reside are far from settled. So, if your young child refuses visitation, doesn’t feel like going, or doesn’t like … Appraise your spouse ahead of time that you will be taking the child to a therapist. So why would a court seek to intervene by forcing a custody schedule that may be damaging to the child? First, the custodial parent should document every step he or she takes to adhere to the schedule. Record your attempts to have the child honor the custody schedule. This is known as having legal custody over the child, meaning the parent is permitted to make choices for the child… This will demonstrate a responsible attitude of cooperation and disclosure on your part. By Selany in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation, By VanessaInRed in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation, By worriedfordaughter in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation, By tresmilagros in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation, By mom2four in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation, 17-Year-Old Will Not Return to Custodial Parent, Non-Custodial Parent Taken to Court, Custodial Parent's Rights When Non-Custodial Parent Doesn't Follow Custody Orders, Can the Non-Custodial Parent Make the Custodial Parent Apply for State Aid, Medical, Non-Custodial Parent Wants Visitation, Right When Custodial Parent is Planning a Move, Change of Domicile - Custodial Parent Job Offer and Non Custodial Parent Unemployed, Non-Custodial Parent Trash Talking Custodial Parent to Child, If this is your first visit please consider. The legal answer may be “yes” even though the ethical answer could be “no” in some situations. Virtually all of these divorces will be impacted by child support issues. In fact, laws vary widely from state to state. A marriage settlement agreement was entered into in Illinois … However, the refusal can simply stem from the child's resistance to the change. to go to another house. 3> Our 17 year old son came to my home for his scheduled summer two week visit and refused to return to the custodial parent. However, it is not unheard of that a threat to a child’s well-being exists. We are ready and able to assist you. This can be expensive. When children don't want to visit Children express resistance to staying with their other parent in different ways. to convince him to go back to the custodial parent… Generally, the judge will then decide your custody and visitation schedule. So why would a court seek to intervene by forcing a custody schedule that may be damaging to the child? Learn more about what to do when a child … If you still cannot agree, you and the other parent will meet with the judge. However, the secondary residential parent or access parent often holds a dream that one day, their child will come to live with them as he or she has been living in their primary residence. Provide the therapist’s name, address and contact information. On one hand, the custodial parent doesn’t want to face penalties or possible jail-time for violating a court-imposed custody schedule. Call to Schedule Your Consultation: 215.345.8000. Court-ordered child support payments are not set in stone. Further complicating the matter is the dearth of controlling principles or law in these cases. Sometimes one parent is simply unwilling to relinquish the children. The custodial parent’s attorney has a duty to help the client avoid these situations. When your child refuses to visit with the other parent, document your attempts to adhere to the custody schedule, 2. If you’re having a hard time viewing your child's request objectively, talk with a friend or counselor about how you can separate your child’s request from your identity as a parent. Whatever the reason, it can put you in a bad position. 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. When a child refuses to return to a custodial parent what is…. It is only natural that we want … If they are a noncustodial parent, they may lose some or all of their visitation rights … Sometimes, judges will lay the blame entirely on the custodial parent and his or her alleged inability to control the child. A judge won’t be swayed by one parent’s argument that a toddler refused visitation. That parent will also make the important decisions in the child's life, such as where they go … List every concern or development that results in your inability to adhere to the schedule. The situation is increasingly problematic as the child approaches the age of majority (18 years old). The short answer is no, a parent can never stop a child from visiting the other parent unless the child is in immediate danger, or the court issues a court order approving this modified custody arrangement to … In instances of a child refusal’s, there are a few options parents can take. This can be tricky because a child may refuse visitation with a parent for a legitimate reason. The custodial parent’s attorney has a duty to help the client avoid these situations. We can accommodate early morning, late evening and weekend appointments. © Cooley & Handy Attorneys At Law, PLLC. This refusal may result from alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. This includes assuring a relationship with both parents inasmuch as it is possible. Cooley & Handy understands the challenges you are facing right now. Follow through with several appointments such that firm information can be gathered. Courts look unfavorably on parents who seek to limit the other spouse’s contact with a child. A review of homeschool custody cases reveals five factors parents need to understand, especially if they are not married to their child’s “other” parent. At the same time, the custodial parent can be held in contempt of the access order if the custodial parent does not facilitate access and allows the child … A marriage settlement agreement was entered into in Illinois. 1 1. First of all, the court has a mandate to protect the best interests of the child. Sometimes it depends on which judge is hearing the matter. Hire a child psychologist to review and evaluate your child’s reasons for the refusal, 3. When a child refuses to visit a parent, the custodial parent and the attorney are put in a tenuous position. In these situations, parents often wonder what they should do when their child refuses to visit with them or the other parent. Courts in Bucks County custody matters, for example, have taken wildly divergent approaches to such situations. The court may also discount or outright ignore compelling evidence of the child’s psychological distress. Learn more about mediation of custody cases. Many states have started to consider a child’s … If you have not encouraged your son to leave and are not … They are inclined to impose and enforce visitation schedules in a robotic-li. They want to avoid situations in which kids won’t visit the other parent for trivial reasons, such as no proximity to friends at the other home, or the inconvenience of having to pack up clothing and school supplies, etc. They are inclined to impose and enforce visitation schedules in a robotic-like manner without actually considering the best interests of the child. This includes assuring a relationship with both parents inasmuch as it is possible. In some states, a non-custodial parent can opt out of paying child support even though the custodial parent expects payments. If the court based your payments on your child spending 25 percent of the week with you, but your child ends up spending more time at your house, your payments can be adjusted. When children … Record dates and times your child refuses and the circumstances surrounding the refusal. ke manner without actually considering the best interests of the child. They don’t want to upset the custodial parent or be made to feel guilty. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Under the law, each parent must follow a custody order exactly. Custodial interference occurs when a parent interferes with the rightful parent's physical custody by not returning the child. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Your child's request to live with your ex doesn’t have to be seen as a negative evaluation of who you are as a person or a parent. We discuss this option in our next article. Or the custodial parent is simply unable to physically force an older child to follow the custody schedule. 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. I tried everything except turning him into the child welfare dept. At other times, a child may feel bitter about the non-custodial parent's significant other. 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