What If My Child Does Not Want to Visit the Other Parent?

Posted on in Child Custody and Support

visitation, parent, child's wishes, Illinois family lawyerWhen a couple splits up, often the children have the most difficulty adjusting to the new situation. It is fairly common for a child to not want to have visiting time with the other parent. But, part of the job of parents is to help foster positive relationships between the other parent and the child. It can be difficult, however, to know what to do when the child refuses to spend time with his or her other parent.

Your Duties

Visitation is not really optional. Under the terms of the court order in your case, the other parent is to have a certain amount of parenting time and compliant with a certain schedule. If your child does not want to go, it does not relieve you of your responsibility to follow a court order.

You need to handle the situation carefully and with empathy. Do not assume that the other parent is doing something wrong, but do not just ignore your child’s opposition either.

Get Help

You know your child better than anyone. Listen to your gut feelings. Discuss with your child why they feel the way they do, without putting ideas into his or her head. Let them tell you why they do not want to go. Watch their body language and listen to what they are not saying as much as what they are saying.

If you have a good relationship with your ex-spouse you may want to discuss the issue with them. The issue needs to be handled delicately. It is easy for hurt feelings to poison what may already be a fragile peace.

It may be necessary to seek out therapy for your child or even you, your ex-spouse, and your child together. Often, children may not be able to articulate what they are feeling, even as teens. A therapist can help strengthen lines of communication and resolve obstacles to good parent-child relationships.

If there is something hurting your child or something dangerous in the environment at the other parent’s house, you may need to go back to court to modify the order.

Because every situation is different is important that you reach out to get help in handling your issues from professionals. Many times not wanting to have visitation time is a normal phase of adjusting to a new situation. But, it can also be an indication of a problem that needs professional intervention.

If you have questions or concerns about custody, visitation, or any other family law issue, contact a dedicated and knowledgeable Kane County family law attorney today. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to solve your problems.



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