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