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Refusal to see a parent can signal underlying issues
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Refusal to see a parent can signal underlying issues

Visitation with a parent is something that many children look forward to. However, some situations can make a child unwilling to spend time with a parent. This puts both parents in a precarious position because the court order regarding parenting time needs to be followed.

There are many reasons a child might not want to see their other parent. One of the first things you must do is ascertain the cause of the refusal. This information may help you to determine the best method to address the underlying problem.

Potential causes

Some of the reasons a child might not want to spend time with their parent revolve around the normal stresses of a healthy relationship. They may not like the rules of the house or the fact that they are limited in their activities. Sometimes, the issue is that they aren’t able to spend time with friends when they are there. Counseling can help the child overcome these feelings so that they can move forward with a positive relationship with that parent.

If there is a new partner in the parent’s life, disagreements or problems with that person might lead to the child not wanting to go. A discussion with your ex will be beneficial in this case because it will be up to them to handle it.

When any of these reasons are behind the refusal for a visit, the child should still go. None of these are valid reasons to violate a court order. Working with your ex might resolve the matter, so notifying them of the situation is an excellent first step toward resolution.

More serious reasons

There are sometimes more severe reasons behind a refusal to see a parent. You will have to think about how you are going handle matters if the cause is abuse or neglect. Listen to what your child’s complaints are and determine if they are safe at the other parent’s house. If they aren’t safe, you might need to turn to the court with your concerns.

The parent who isn’t getting visitation may file a motion with the court known as an Order to Show Cause. This requires you to show the judge the reason for the resistance. The judge might speak to the child, but this depends mainly on the kid’s age. Even in this case, the court doesn’t have to comply with the minor’s wishes.

Unless your child’s safety is in jeopardy, you should encourage them to continue with the visits. It might be difficult for them to understand why you want them to do this. However, it can help to keep you out of legal trouble and may strengthen the bond between them and their other parent.