Whether you are newly divorced or you have been co-parenting with your ex-spouse for years, you fully understand how crucial it is to comply with your child custody order. Of course, not everything always goes according to our plans. If your child is sick with a fever, for example, it would be best to keep him or her home and to notify your co-parent of the incident as soon as possible. However, not every situation is quite as cut-and-dry. If your child refuses visitation, you might end up in hot legal water, depending on the details of the situation.
Making a Child Reasonably Available for Visitation
If you fail to comply with your child custody order because your child refused to cooperate, a judge might find you in contempt of court. A judge might be a little more understanding if your child is a teenager and able to exert more control over the situation. To ensure you do not suffer any consequences as a result, however, it is crucial to remain in contact with your co-parent and inform him or her of the predicament you have on your hands. You should even consider inviting your former spouse over to talk to the child and find out why this is happening.
If a judge finds that you did not make your child reasonably available for visitation, or that you had a hand in preventing visits, you will face some steep consequences, so make sure you document each incident. Save your texts, emails, or write down the details of any phone conversations you had with your co-parent regarding your child’s refusal and any actions you took to try to facilitate a visit. You do not want the Judge to make orders against you because you didn’t follow the previous orders.
Why is My Child Refusing Visitation?
It would also be wise to find out why your child is refusing visitation, especially if this behavior is new. Something might have happened in your co-parent’s household that made your child feel uncomfortable, unhappy, or even unsafe, which triggered this refusal. Talk to your child about it and, if you believe his or her health and safety are at risk, contact a family law attorney to immediately address the matter.
It might not feel right to force your child to do something he or she does not want to do, but unless your co-parent’s environment is unsafe, you must do everything you can to make scheduled visitation happen.
Speak to an Experienced Child Custody Attorney Today!
If your child is refusing to visit your former spouse, you need to protect yourself against the possible legal ramifications by hiring an experienced child custody attorney to assist you. At The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider, our family law attorney is backed by more than 25 years of legal experience and a reputation for success. With us on your side, you can be rest assured that we will help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Contact our law office today at (619) 304-8499 to set up a free consultation and discuss the details of your child custody case.