Can a Child Refuse to See or Stay With the Other Parent?

The aftermath of your divorce can cause waves and impact relationships amongst all members of the family, including children. Many of them struggle to cope with their new arrangements, whether this involves shared custody, having to deal with the loss of both parents under the same roof, and more. 

One way children cope is by channeling their frustrations and anger towards one parent they may feel is single handedly responsible for the divorce. It’s not uncommon for a child to express refusal at having to visit or stay with the other parent, even if custody is shared. This predicament can place parents in a very difficult position. 

Today’s post is a closer look at this issue. To put the question in simple terms, can a child refuse to see a parent and what does this mean for the custody/parenting plan in place?

Making Decisions that Best Protect the Interests of the Child

Whether your child refuses to see the other parent, or is showing reluctance to spend time with you, it is important to consider his/her feelings on the matter. Both parents should discuss their concerns if possible and stay open to the idea of being flexible when court orders allow it. 

That said, CA family law expects both parents to make decisions that promote the well-being of the child. This can include making them do things they may not enjoy or want to do, which includes spending time with the other parent.

Parents Must Adhere to Parenting and Custody Arrangements

When a parent refuses to adhere to all parenting and custody arrangements, this can lead to complications and consequences. As a parent, you have to ensure that you never leave the other parent doubting when and where you’ll show up. 

On the other hand, if the other parent is engaging in behaviors that endanger or deliberately alienate you from your child, this is something you can address via the family law courts. Talk to a qualified family law attorney in CA, someone who can assess your situation and help you formulate an effective plan that protects you and your children.

At the Law Offices of James P. White, our experienced family law attorneys are here to answer all your questions involving child custody and family law in CA. Give us a call at 925-271-0999 to connect with our knowledgeable family law attorneys. We offer free initial consultations where we take the time to learn about your specific legal issues and needs.