Can a Child Make a Decision to Stop Visitation Altogether?

Rights, Privileges, and Duties of EmancipationWhen your divorce is complete and you have a visitation plan set in place for your child or children, you may think that everything will go smoothly. But have you considered the fact that your child may not want to visit every time they are scheduled to do so? Today we share your rights as a parent and how you can handle these very delicate matters when you have gone through divorce and are handling these circumstances head-on.

Child Visitation FAQ

What age is appropriate for making the decision to not visit? Your child may have other commitments and feel as if visitation gets in their way of these things. The court will weigh your son’s activities against the importance of the visitation. In many cases, this means that a compromise will need to be reached, such as a change in the times that your child visits.

Do I have to force my child to abide by visitation rules? It is always a responsible decision to follow everything on your court order. If you withhold visitation, it could lead to a change in custody, and you don’t want that to happen. Have a discussion with your attorney about the concerns about the other parent’s household or how your child reacts to spending time with them. If you believe that the other parent is not fit to care for your child, the judge can give their opinion in your case. It may call for a change. 

What if my child is afraid to see the other parent? In these cases, it may call for a professional evaluation. This sounds less like a child who just doesn’t want to see a parent, and more like a real problem that causes your child distress. A therapist may be the right person to talk to, as well as a judge to make any changes. 

What about a teenager – can they choose when they want to visit? A teenager’s position is very valuable to the court. If there is a specific reason as to why a teenager doesn’t want to spend time with their parent, get to the bottom of this issue. Children can benefit from being around both parents but, as teens, it is hard to force them to go to visitation. 

If my teenager refuses visitation, will I be held responsible by the court? You may feel caught in the middle. You want your child to have a relationship with the other parent but you don’t want to be the bad parent and force them to go. Unfortunately, in these cases, teenagers are old enough to make their own decisions and the judge would understand this. However, this could call for a change in the schedule.

If my child doesn’t want to attend visitation, will support be stopped? Child support and visitation are treated separately. Child support ends at eighteen. A parent must still pay child support if it has been issued to them, even without visitation.

Because these matters mean a lot to your family, it is important to treat them with care and take them as seriously as possible. This is why it is a good idea to speak to us today about your position and how you want to handle your child’s visitation matters. Call us today for more.