Many divorced parents have been there: instead of following through with visitation arrangements, your child would much rather throw a tantrum or argue with you. Maybe they don’t want to be bored at the other parent’s home, or maybe the visitation schedule is getting in the way of previous plans.
Whatever the case might be, dealing with an uncooperative child can be frustrating. Parents have asked us for advice on this matter, which is what inspired us to whip up this post. For more detailed advice regarding your specific needs, remember that we at the Law Office of James P. White are a quick phone call away.
It Is Your Duty to Uphold All Court-Ordered Arrangements
Unfortunately for your child, you are legally obliged to ensure that all visitation arrangements are carried out. Simply stating that your child didn’t feel like going is not a valid defense, and you could potentially be held in contempt. This also gives the other parents ammunition for arguing towards having your custody diminished or even entirely removed!
This might seem excessive, but think of it this way: as a parent, it is your job to ensure that your child does the things he/she might not always feel like doing: homework, chores, and even basic hygiene such as brushing their teeth! The state of California wants both parents to play a role in your child’s life as this has been proven to offer a sense of stability and helps their development in various key areas. In other words, you could very well be acting against your child’s own interests by letting them off the hook!
Consider a Modification of Visitation
Of course, it’s important that you get to the root of why your child doesn’t want to go to the other parent’s house. If there’s a serious underlying issue such as neglect or abuse, you don’t want to overlook it and ignore your child’s pleas. In these cases, you can always seek a modification of visitation. Do note that this route only makes sense when there are serious problems that need to be addressed. Anything less pressing is likely to be rejected in court.
For such complex legal matters such as modification of visitation and custody/visitation arrangements, you should always reach out to a qualified family law attorney before anything else. To learn more, and to speak with one of our trusted legal experts, be sure to give the Law Office of James P. White a call.
We offer initial consultations, so don’t hesitate to call as soon as possible!