What if Child Does Not Want to Spend Time with The Other Parent?

May 04, 2017

What happens when a child tells one parent they don't want to spend time with the other parent?

I get a ton of questions all the time from people who have children that are old enough to express themselves and they are mature enough to say what they want and don't want.

And those kids are telling one parent that they don't want to go and spend time with the other parent. This can be a problem especially if there is a court order in place that says the other parent is entitled to a certain amount of parenting time.

You are always obligated to follow the court order. If you don't follow the court order you could be brought in front of the court for an enforcement action which means the judge could force you to follow the order. At the very worst you could be brought in front of the court for a contempt of court proceeding in which the judge would look at whether or not you knowingly and willfully violated the court order.

In some cases judges really get unhappy when someone doesn't follow their orders and they impose very harsh punishments on people who don't follow court orders.

But what if you have a 16-year old who is saying Mom or Dad, I don't want to go with the other parent. What do you do? Well my experience of late is when I go in front of a judges and judges hear the situation, what they do is tell the parents that the child does not get to make the choice.

A court order is in effect and the court has made that order after considering the best interest of the child or the children and the court expects it to be followed. Judges often use the example of children who say they don't want to go to school. That happens a lot because I myself have a 6-year old daughter and she's always telling me she doesn't want to go to school.

The thing is even though your kid tells you that they don't want to go to school, you still make them go to school because that's the best thing for them. So the judge is going to be operating under the premise that whatever the parenting plan is in the best interest of the children or it would have not been ordered. And that it is in the children's best interest to go with the other parent.

Now I understand that you may not agree with the parenting plan that was ordered. And depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be time to ask to have that parenting plan modified. Especially if there's been a big change in circumstances between now and the time the parenting plan was ordered.

The point is you just have to follow the court order and if you have a kid who's older and is just simply saying that "I don't want to go to Mom or Dads that may not be good enough for your judge. Unless there are some really good reasons and some reasons might be that one of the parents is being abusive or is doing drugs or is hanging around not so savory people for example.

So there are factors that might take you out of that but unless and until you get a court order where the judge says the kids don't have to go, they have to go. and that's just the way it is in the eyes of the court. If there is an emergency that happens and you need to take emergency action, call the police, contact child protective services or file an emergency motion with your judge.



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sed sapien quam. Sed dapibus est id enim facilisis, at posuere turpis adipiscing. Quisque sit amet dui dui.

Call To Action

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.