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, … Why? A parent should not act on a child's initial impulse; instead, the parents should communicate about possible causes of the child… 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. to go to another house. 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… Sometimes one parent is simply unwilling to relinquish the children. Sometimes, judges will lay the blame entirely on the custodial parent and his or her alleged inability to control the child. Learn more about mediation of custody cases. If you still cannot agree, you and the other parent will meet with the judge. Second, hire a child psychologist or therapist, and have the child’s fears and concerns documented by someone other than yourself. 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. 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. Record dates and times your child refuses and the circumstances surrounding the refusal. 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. They are naturally skeptical when arguments are put forth todo that. Courts look unfavorably on parents who seek to limit the other spouse’s contact with a child. Custodial interference occurs when a parent interferes with the rightful parent's physical custody by not returning the child. We are ready and able to assist you. In some states, a non-custodial parent can opt out of paying child support even though the custodial parent expects payments. 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. 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 … This is known as having legal custody over the child, meaning the parent is permitted to make choices for the child… If they are a noncustodial parent, they may lose some or all of their visitation rights … Custodial parents face a difficult issue when a minor child refuses to visit with the other parent. Hire a child psychologist to review and evaluate your child’s reasons for the refusal, 3. Or the custodial parent is simply unable to physically force an older child to follow the custody schedule. When your child refuses to visit with the other parent, document your attempts to adhere to the custody schedule, 2. This includes assuring a relationship with both parents inasmuch as it is possible. If they are a custodial parent, they can lose their custody rights to the child, or have their custody reduced. ke manner without actually considering the best interests of the child. When a child refuses to return to a custodial parent what is…. In these situations, parents often wonder what they should do when their child refuses to visit with them or the other parent. Cooley & Handy understands the challenges you are facing right now. 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. Courts in Bucks County custody matters, for example, have taken wildly divergent approaches to such situations. Provide the therapist’s name, address and contact information. This can be expensive. These are serious situations, and they do occur. A custodial parent is one who has physical and legal custody of the child, meaning that the child primarily lives with them. That parent will also make the important decisions in the child's life, such as where they go … Custodial parents face a difficult issue when a minor child refuses to visit with the other parent. It is only natural that we want … 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. 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. Whatever the reason, it can put you in a bad position. However, the refusal can simply stem from the child's resistance to the change. So why would a court seek to intervene by forcing a custody schedule that may be damaging to the child? The situation is increasingly … Go Verified by ... Of course, both parents often want to keep the kids with them, which frequently results in joint custody. Many states have started to consider a child’s … 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. Under the law, each parent must follow a custody order exactly. First of all, the court has a mandate to protect the best interests of the child. List every concern or development that results in your inability to adhere to the schedule. When children … 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 therapist may be able to learn more about what is the root cause of the child’s refusal. The custodial parent’s attorney has a duty to help the client avoid these situations. 1 1. At other times, a child may feel bitter about the non-custodial parent's significant other. A parent’s impulse to protect a child is primal. First of all, the court has a mandate to protect the best interests of the child. Call to Schedule Your Consultation: 215.345.8000. Further complicating the matter is the dearth of controlling principles or law in these cases. 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. 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. Follow through with several appointments such that firm information can be gathered. A parent’s impulse to protect a child is primal. Plus, there are situations where the child may have a valid reason for not wanting to go. But this is usually only possible if the non-custodial parent is willing to … 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. If you don’t comply with the visitation schedule, you can get in trouble for not making them go. Your co-parent lives far away from their friends, school, activities, and other things they enjoy. Often, a child may not want to openly discuss their issues with the other parent with the custodial parent. I tried everything except turning him into the child welfare dept. They are not legitimate reasons for refusing to follow court orders. This will demonstrate a responsible attitude of cooperation and disclosure on your part. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Older children may become … Why? Generally, the judge will then decide your custody and visitation schedule. 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. As a parent you may feel like your hands are tied, especially after a divorce or separation. Virtually all of these divorces will be impacted by child support issues. In fact, laws vary widely from state to state. to convince him to go back to the custodial parent… However, in the court’s eyes, such testimony will provide unbiased evidence that there is a legitimate threat to the child’s well-being. 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. In instances of a child refusal’s, there are a few options parents can take. The legal answer may be “yes” even though the ethical answer could be “no” in some situations. The child refuses the visit. A child under five may appear clingy, cry, scream or pretend to be ill. A marriage settlement agreement was entered into in Illinois … My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Indiana 1> I am the NON CUSTODIAL parent. Learn more about what to do when a child … In some cases, the child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial turmoil or stress related to the divorce. You may still harbor bad feelings for your ex, but this person is also the parent of your child. The laws governing a child and his or her right to choose which parent with whom to reside are far from settled. When children don't want to visit Children express resistance to staying with their other parent in different ways. So why would a court seek to intervene by forcing a custody schedule that may be damaging to the 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. Sometimes the custodial parent may request that you keep your child … So, if your young child refuses visitation, doesn’t feel like going, or doesn’t like … However, it is not unheard of that a threat to a child’s well-being exists. © Cooley & Handy Attorneys At Law, PLLC. 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. We discuss this option in our next article. They are inclined to impose and enforce visitation schedules in a robotic-li. Please do not hesitate to contact us. They don’t want to upset the custodial parent or be made to feel guilty. 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 … We can accommodate early morning, late evening and weekend appointments. The therapist will need to appear and serve as a witness at any court proceedings regarding the custody schedule. However, there's not a lot of tolerance when a child exercises that willpower by refusing visitation. Oftentimes, a non-custodial parent might have set limitations on their legal rights to make major decisions on behalf of the child. The court may also discount or outright ignore compelling evidence of the child’s psychological distress. 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. These situations reflect about 90% of the custody disputes out there. Appraise your spouse ahead of time that you will be taking the child to a therapist. They are inclined to impose and enforce visitation schedules in a robotic-like manner without actually considering the best interests of the 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. A judge won’t be swayed by one parent’s argument that a toddler refused visitation. If you have not encouraged your son to leave and are not … 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 custodial parent’s attorney has a duty to help the client avoid these situations. Many custodial parents are hesitant to force their child into visitation if it makes the child unhappy. Parents often lament that children have minds of their own, and there's no doubt that this statement rings true for many families. This includes assuring a relationship with both parents inasmuch as it is possible. 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. 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… What does the court do when a child refuses to visit with a parent? Court-ordered child support payments are not set in stone. 2> The custodial parent has sole custody. 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. Sometimes it depends on which judge is hearing the matter. Badmouth the other parent. This can be tricky because a child may refuse visitation with a parent for a legitimate reason. 1. When a child refuses to visit a parent, the custodial parent and the attorney are put in a tenuous position. The Custody Factor lationship with each other and with the child may have had on the child’s psyche. On one hand, the custodial parent doesn’t want to face penalties or possible jail-time for violating a court-imposed custody schedule. The situation is increasingly problematic as the child approaches the age of majority (18 years old). First, the custodial parent should document every step he or she takes to adhere to the schedule. This refusal may result from alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. In some … You’ll want to have the therapist testify in court about his or her findings. This refusal may result from alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. custodial parent doesn’t want to face penalties or possible jail-time for violating a court-imposed custody schedule. A marriage settlement agreement was entered into in Illinois. Record your attempts to have the child honor the custody schedule. 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. Supporting the visitation schedule is an important way to encourage them to build and maintain that bond. 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