My Child Refuses to Visit Other Parent, Now What?

San Francisco child custody attorneysThis is a problem that nearly every divorced or separated parent runs into: your child is throwing a tantrum as he/she refuses to spend time with the other parent. Though these disputes are often short-lived, there are times when a child will stick to their guns and insist on staying home.

We’ve been asked by frazzled parents about what steps they should take in this scenario, so for this post, we’ll be covering just that.

A Parent Cannot Neglect His/Her Custodial Obligations

The primary takeaway from this post is this: you can’t simply ignore court orders, including custodial obligations, just because your child feels like it. Family law is centered on allowing both parents play a role in the life of a child, and each parent is tasked with ensuring that all visitation and custody arrangements are kept.

It can be difficult to argue with a stubborn child, but the law is clear. We recommend you help your child understand the importance of visiting the other parent, and explain why it’s unfair for him/her to neglect the other parent. Focus on the fact that, despite being separated, both parents still love him/her deeply.

Remember, the decision of enforcing visitation arrangements is assigned to an adult, not a child, and you need to follow through with your parental obligations.

Consider Requesting a Modification of Visitation

With that being said, if your child gives you reason to believe that his/her reasons for not wanting to see the other parent are legitimate and harms their well-being, you need to take these concerns up via the adequate legal channels. To the court, the most important thing is the continued care and protection of the child. They will always make a decision that aligns with his/her best interests.

In this type of scenario, a formal request for a modification of visitation should be pursued. However, keep in mind that until and if the modification is implemented, you still need to stick with the established arrangement for the time being.

If you’re interested in learning more about modification of visitation, or about any matter relating to divorce or child custody in CA, we invite you to reach out to us at Rubin & Levavi, P. C.

Call us at (415) 564-2776 to schedule a free initial consultation.