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Do my children have the right to refuse visitation?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | divorce | 0 comments

Court-ordered visitation helps to maintain relationships between children and the non-custodial parent. You may face contempt of court for failing to comply with that visitation schedule, even if the disruption in the schedule occurs because your child refuses to go.

In most situations, you have to file a modification petition and ask the court for visitation termination before your child can stop going.

Why is your child refusing visitation?

It is important to consider the reason why your child is refusing visitation. Sometimes, a situation as simple as a new partner with the other parent, new sounds in the house or general fears about the new environment may drive visitation refusal. When the problem is more intense than that, you may want legal guidance, especially if you suspect neglect or abuse.

Are there safety concerns?

Any situation with immediate concerns for your child’s safety may warrant visitation refusal, but only in specific circumstances. For example, if the non-custodial parent arrives intoxicated, call the police for documentation. Your child’s best interest and safety prevail in this situation, but the police report serves as evidence for the court. The same rule applies if there is an imminent threat of harm to your child in any form.

Any time a child refuses visitation, you should take the situation seriously. Understand the reason for the child’s refusal and ask the court for visitation modification if necessary. Sometimes, helping your child adjust to the new environment is enough, so consider sending a favorite stuffed animal or something of yours for comfort.