If you and your former spouse have children, you understand that you are both obligated to comply with the child custody and visitation order. However, children can be unpredictable and might complicate the situation by refusing to visit their other parent. In such cases, you might end up in some hot legal water if a judge believes you did not make them reasonably available for visitation.
Making Your Children Available for Visitation
Ideally, you and your former spouse should drop off the children on time or make them available for scheduled visitation. If your children are refusing visitation, you will run into some legal issues. While a judge might be somewhat understanding if your children are teenagers who can more easily subvert your authority, it is unlikely you will receive any empathy if they are very young.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of forcing your children to visit their other parent, call your ex-spouse and explain the situation. You might even want to consider allowing your co-parent to come to your place and talk to the children and possibly diffuse the situation. Make sure you document the incident, including any correspondence between you and your spouse. Showing that you made an effort to ensure your children were reasonably available for visitation will make a big difference in court.
Remember, if visitation does not pose a risk to the health and safety of your children, you must prove to the judge that you did everything within your power to comply with the court order.
Find Out Why Your Children Are Refusing Visitation
If your children never had any objections to visiting their other parent, you should have a discussion with them to find out what caused this sudden change in behavior. If they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in their other parent’s home, this is an issue you must address. It might not necessarily be a major issue, but the only way to be sure is to talk to them about it. Perhaps your former spouse has a new partner and your children feel resentful. Whatever the case may be, you must get to the bottom of it. If you are concerned about your children’s safety or believe they are in danger, take legal action as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Case with a Child Custody Attorney Today!
If your children are refusing to visit their other parent, you need to take the proper steps to protect yourself and ensure your parental rights remain intact. At Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, our family law team has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate this delicate matter, so you and your family can continue to move forward with your lives. Backed by more than 15 years of experience, you can rely on us to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case.