If you and your former spouse have children, you also have a child custody order in place. Whether you and your spouse worked out a schedule together or you went through litigation to achieve your current arrangement, you must comply with the order. Although you are likely aware of the legal troubles you will face if you disobey the order, you might be less aware if you will face similar consequences for your children’s refusal to visit their other parent.
A Parent’s Responsibility
Ultimately, each parent is responsible for making the children available for visitation. Although forcing your children to do something they may not necessarily want to do, you have to remember that it is your obligation as a parent to encourage and support your children’s relationship with their other parent. Just as you enforce certain household rules, such as bedtime, homework, and other responsibilities your children may try to avoid, you must also enforce visitation. If these tantrums or emotional outbursts or refusals become particularly difficult to manage, discuss the matter with your co-parent or invite them to have a discussion with the children about it, so you can all work together toward a resolution.
Find Out the Reason Behind the Refusal
If you have major concerns regarding your children’s refusal for visitation or you believe their health and safety are at risk, you should not force your children to visit their parent. That is a matter you will need to take to court. However, if you do not believe their refusal is related to the safety of their environment, you must comply with the order. That said, you should still find out the reason why your children are having trouble with visitation or acting out. Remember, this sort of protest behavior is very common in children after a divorce, so they may just need a little extra attention and care. The sooner you figure out the problem, the sooner you can put an end to these episodes.
Talk to your co-parent about the issues you discussed with your children to find out how you can both make visitation less stressful for your children. The aftermath of a divorce can be difficult, but you can work together to make it easier and continue to comply with the court orders.
Discuss the Details of Your Case with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney Today!
If your children are refusing to visit their other parent, it is your obligation to still ensure the order is complied with. If you have concerns about their health and safety, however, you will need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to help you navigate this difficult situation and ensure your children are protected. At Sullivan Law & Associates, our family law attorneys are committed to providing tailored solutions to achieve your family law goals, no matter how complex they may be. With over four decades of experience on our side, you can feel confident in our ability to guide you through this matter.
Get started on your child custody case today and contact our law office at (949) 565-2793 to discuss the details of your case during a free initial consultation.