If your parenting plan places you in the position of being the noncustodial parent, you will have regularly scheduled parenting time with your children. Having scheduled time with your children is supposed to ensure you will have an ongoing relationship with your kids. Unfortunately, sometimes children have minds of their own. It’s not uncommon for a child (school age, preteen or teen) to refuse to go to the other parent’s home. Sometimes there is an explanation (whether or not it is valid) and sometimes there is simply no reason offered. When your child suddenly decides he doesn’t want to see you, it can feel like your heart is being ripped out. So what can you do?
– If you believe your ex is somehow manipulating your child into refusing to go, you need to talk to your attorney. Your parenting time is enforceable.
– If you know the refusal is coming from your child, try to talk with your ex to see if the two of you can figure out what the root of the problem is. Sometimes there are problems that can be fixed (such as a child not wanting to miss soccer practice or complaints about the bed at the noncustodial parent’s home).
– Try to form a united front with your ex. If you both insist the schedule will be followed, there is little your child can do about it. Eventually the child will adjust to the situation. Sometimes toughing it out can work.
– If your child sees a therapist (a good idea for many children in a divorce), let the therapist know what’s going on and ask for assistance.
– Sometimes just taking a mutually agreed upon break from parenting time can work, but it is important that you do not stop using your parenting time so that it will not appear to a court that you are not using it.
– The last option is to get the police involved but only if your ex is clearly denying you your court ordered parenting time. The courts frown upon getting the police involved in parenting time issues because of the negative affect it has on the children. Therefore police should only be used as a last, near desperate, resort.
If you are facing difficulties with visitation, the Sampair Group can help. Our attorneys serve the Mesa, Phoneix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Call us now so we can help you.