What To Do If Your Child Refuses Visitation With The Other Parent
During any divorce that involves children, a parenting plan must be negotiated between the two parents or the parties will have to go to court and allow a judge to make the final decision. Regardless of how parenting time is decided, once a plan is in place, it is a court order and all parties are expected to comply with the terms. This includes the children but unfortunately, kids do not always want to go visit one parent or the other.
So, what can you do if your child does not want to spend time with the other parent? Fortunately, you do have options. Our Brentwood child custody lawyer explains what these are below.
Talk to the Other Parent
It is always best to try and resolve any family dispute that arises without court intervention. First, speak with your child about their concerns. Children sometimes do not want to visit their other parents for a multitude of reasons. Maybe it is a simple matter of them not wanting to leave their friends who live next door. Or, maybe it is something far more serious, such as abuse that occurs at the other parent’s home.
If the concern is something relatively simple that you and the other parent can fix, try to speak to your former spouse about it. Express the concerns your child has raised and try to resolve the issue together. Remember that when children know there is underlying conflict between their parents, they may try to manipulate the situation in their favor. When speaking to your ex, try to give them the benefit of the doubt and focus on resolving the issue together.
Seek Professional Help
In some scenarios, a professional counselor may be necessary to try and address the issues. A family therapist can help children identify their issues and create strategies the whole family can use to resolve them. Counseling can be done one-on-one with the child, or in a group setting with the whole family. The type of counseling you choose will depend on your family dynamics and the openness and willingness of all parties involved.
If your child does not want to visit the other parent and you cannot work it out as a family, you will have to take the matter to court. If your child is over the age of 12, the court will take their preference into consideration, although it is never the sole determining factor. By taking the matter to court, you will show the judge that you are trying to resolve the issue and you may even obtain a new parenting plan that addresses the concerns of your child.
Our Child Custody Attorneys in Brentwood Can Help with Your Case
Child custody issues can arise during divorce, and for many years afterward. If you have a dispute, our Brentwood child custody attorneys at Beal, Nations & Crutcher can help you resolve it. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys so we can discuss your needs.