at what age can a child decide to stop visitation

Many clients in conflict about the proper parenting arrangements for their children following separation try and justify their views of parenting by basing their decisions on their children’s expressed views. On the other hand, it is pretty difficult to force a teenager to visit the other parent if they don’t want to. Although a child can never decide issues relating to custody or visitation, Tennessee law requires a court to consider the wishes of a child over the age of 12 when making visitation related decisions. He drinks and keeps his house unclean. I only want to see my son. At What Age Can a Child Choose Custody in New York? Applicable here is the second ground. If your state is similar to Pennsylvania, then the court should hold the custodial parent responsible for ensuring the minor child/children see the noncustodial parents according the custody schedule. Giana Messore licensed in AR only – Little Rock, AR. You have to either find a way to work with him or a way to convince a judge that he is not fit to take care of her. Also, visitation generally ends at age 18 when the child becomes an adult. The judge will consider a child's preference whenever the child is of sufficient age, maturity, and understanding. In Massachusetts, children can’t “decide” where they will live until they are at least 18 years old. However, Massachusetts courts must consider a child’s custodial preference when the child is mature enough to have a rational opinion. A child cannot unilaterally opt out of a parent's court-ordered possession, regardless of age. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”, Home Instead of going to stay at his dad's house, what if he just had dinner with him or went to a sporting event one night a week or once every two weeks? My 14 year old triplet boys refuse to meet him and spend time with us as a couple. Brette's Answer: It sounds like you need a professional evaluation of what is going on. Many custodial parents are hesitant to force their child into visitation if it makes the child unhappy. Breaches of parenting orders. Now that being said, I completely understand your worries about what is happening at his house. unless the child is not safe in that environment. Show Less. As such, you could be in trouble if you don’t comply with the court’s child custody order on visitation. Joseph Cordell, Principal Partner, licensed in MO and IL only. When can a child decide if he wants to see the other parent [ 10 Answers ] My son is 11 1/2 and refuses to see his father. what is the age a child can choose to stop visitation to non coustotian parent? Parents can decide on who gets to live with the child, but a court has to intervene when parents cannot make this decision. See Tex. If you want to modify … The wishes and feelings of a child below the age of 11 may be taken into account but will not usually carry such weight. As long as you arrange the visitation times and make your son available, it's unlikely a court would have any problem with what you're doing. It sounds to me like you're doing all the rights things. Of course, as your child grows older, it can be difficult to “force” him or her to adhere to the visitation schedule. My ex then turned around and accused me of custodial interference. In all child custody disputes in New York, judges consider the following factors and how they relate to the best interests of the child: Will a judge grant this if the child doesn't even want to go for a weekend? In a sole physical custody arrangement, the child lives with one parent full-time, even if the non-custodial parent has visitation rights or shares in the legal custody arrangement. I was told that the age was 13, Is this true?? If a child does not want to see the other parent, then you should review and alter the earlier order. I've often found that teens aren't aware that there are options and they simply see the situation as take it or leave it and reject it out of hand. Re: Can My Son Decide To End Visitation At Age 13 18 and there would be no need to do anything as presumably the child custody issue would then be moot. I would also suggest you talk to the coach and explain the situation. In New York, what age can a child refuse visitation with the non-custodial parent? Brette's Answer: You can subpoena her counselor. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more. The age at which a child can decide the amount of time they spend with each of their parents will depend on a number of factors. His father is not going to fight me for custody. Guest Posted on 04-03-2014 at 11.43AM . Remember, a temporary or pendente lite custody order is not a final order. You need to discuss in detail what your concerns are with specific incidents. It is wrong to assume a child has the right to decide where he or she will live once they turn 12 years old. Janet's Question: My 2 daughters are 9 & 12. Can he force visitation if my almost 18 year old doesn't know him? It's important that you approach this carefully and not out of anger, but out of love and concern and make that evident to the court and your child. I worked with many families who were in similar situations to yours and I know how difficult and frustrating it is for you. My son wants to see his dad but there are times he doesn't want to go from Friday-Monday. Posted By Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC There is a misconception floating around about children being able to choose which parent to live with once they reach a certain age, such as 12, 13, or 14. Our daughter was already in counseling at the time, but the counselor has refused to write a letter or appear in court over fears of being sued by my ex. For example, a parent who is not awarded sole or joint physical custody of his or her child still wants to be an important part of the child’s life and spend as much time with that child as possible. 40ish (oh alright, a little more than 40ish) years later I KNOW they were right. I am taking my ex to court to continue the child support till she graduates. What are the chances he'll get visitation? Brette's Answer: Hi Mary. Try to get a restraining order or appeal to a judge, at this point you are the only one who can stop it. Visitation is designed to benefit the child, not the child’s parents. If my 18 year old refuses visitation, can he stop support? At What Age Can A Child Decide Custody? Visitation, like child support, is a critical matter in a child custody agreement, so there could be legal implications for violating the order. Asking for some visitation and counseling is an excellent idea. If it's at all possible try to sit down with him in a neutral, no-conflict way and share your concerns. My son is 12 and will be 13 in March. My son says that he is scared of him. What is my responsibility in trying to force him to go? Depending on her age, try to find out what her objection is. If you want a change, you need to show the court why the current plan isn't working and how a change would help the kids. My son was his 1st child and now he has a new daughter with his new wife (she also has a son from someone else). Lisa's Question: I am another single mom with a visitation issue and concern. Divorce is hard for everyone involved. Talk to your ex about the kinds of options I've suggested above. The key to this conversation is to try to approach it like you and he are solving a problem together, not as if you are confronting him (and this is not to say you aren't totally entitled to do so, but it's not going to be productive). Fam. Age of Child and Custody – One of the most common questions parents ask is at what age can their children choose the custody and access arrangements. A court would weigh the importance of your son's activities against the importance that he stay connected to his father, and it's likely staying connected to his father is going to seem more important. Whatever the reason, it can put you in a bad position. Age of Child and Custody – One of the most common questions parents ask is at what age can their children choose the custody and access arrangements. Legally, children can make their own decisions when they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years of age. Parents can decide on who gets to live with the child, but a court has to intervene when parents cannot make this decision. Your child refusing to visit or stay with their other parent is a tough position for parents to be in, and how you handle it as a family can speak volumes to how the situation is resolved. Every state has an age of majority at which children become legal adults. Can they arrest me if my child refuses visitation? If you and your ex can work together and present a united front, it will help her get through it. Show More. The decision is never completely up to the child. Brette's Answer: I think it is good to never give up on your child. Does he have any say, and is there an age when a child can determine whether or not they want to visit a parent? What to consider if you are thinking about doing your own divorce. Your daughter's opinion is important and a court will take into the consideration the opinion of a teen, but by itself it isn't enough. A finding of child abuse is significant and persuasive to the court. It’s common for parents to ask at what age their child can decide custody. In Georgia, once a child turns 14 he or she may choose which parent will be their primary custodial parent, however, there are instances when a judge can overrule the child’s election. However, I have encouraged him to go anyway. Submitted: 11 years ago. Tell him that maybe you can work together to find some alternate solutions that will work. It’s a common misconception that once a child reaches a certain age, that child can decide which parent should have custody. Do I or my daughter have any other options? Instead, tell him how your daughter is feeling. Suz's Question: My son is 5 and has been going with his dad since he was 1. The child doesn't get to decide until the age of 18. Most judges understand that once a child reaches their teens (14 /15 /16 /17), it certainly is difficult to force them to visit with a noncustodial parent when they are adamant about not seeing them, but it truly is not the child’s decision. My ex-wife and I have joint legal and physical custody.However, our daughter has been living with her aunt for the past several years because her behavior was out of control when living with us. For example, a child may not want to have visits with an estranged parent. Child support and visitation are two separate things, What to do when your child resists visitation. If the custodial parent has a GOOD reason why visitation should be terminated (e.g., the other parent is abusing or neglecting the child), that parent can file an action seeking to terminate visitation. Office in Ridgeland, MS. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Whenever a child is considered to be of a suitable age and maturity level, an interview could occur to give the court a better idea about what they want. Child support is based on the policy that both parents are obligated to support their children, even when the children are not living with both parents. We currently have shared custody and he is threatening to file for 50-50 custody. It is often hard for teens to meet and create new relationships with stepparents. 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My daughter doesn't have a room and finds the house and pets filthy and the people smoke in the house. Making Visitation Easier On the Children – Here are some ways to try and ease the visitation process and make it a little less painful for the kids. The judge merely interviews the child to determine the child’s wishes … You're caught in the middle - you want your son to have a relationship with his dad, but you don't want to become the bad guy by forcing him to go. Susan's Question: I have a custody agreement which puts me as primary care giver of my daughter. She is still a minor and it's in her best interest to have two parents in her life. Linda's Question: My 16 year old son does not get along with is dad and does not want to go to his house for visitation. In divorce, one parent is often awarded custody or, where there is joint custody, is designated as the primary residential parent. Code § 31-17-2-15 (2020). The truth is that in Texas, a child cannot decide which parent shall have custody. The child does not have the option of refusing. Show More. This can include decisions about visitation. There needs to be some proof that a change would benefit the kids. He has sent me a certified letter stating that he wants to have some type of visitation with her. In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative. All you can do is encourage your son to go. If you breach a parenting order without a reasonable excuse, the court can order you to participate in a parenting program run by an approved counselling service. He is named on his birth certificate but has no Parental Rights or Responsibilities since my son was born in 2005 (Scotland) I am now married (as of November 2013) and both myself and my son … You need to get an attorney. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Does my daughter still have to see him? Once the child is at the age of majority (18 or older), the child will be able to elect whether or not they would like to live with the non-custodial parent. A judge may order a visitation or custody arrangement that doesn’t align with a child’s preference. Ask Your Own Family Law Question. Most kids have resistance to visitation at some point. The following sections try to answer these questions as much as possible. This is not at all abnormal. A child so close to majority usually has his preference followed. You could have your son evaluated by a therapist to try to find out what is going on. I have been seeing a man for 18 months now and we are planning on getting married. A child over the age of 12 is allowed to give testimony, either in the courtroom or in chambers, in order to express the child’s preferences. Category: Family Law. He doesn't really have to because our son is refusing to be with me. Children do not get to decide about visitation. Family Code Section 3042 requires the Court to consider and give due weight to a child’s preference regarding custody if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to … He has not ssen him in over a year. Also, how old does a child have to be to refuse visitation? I cannot drag him out the door -- what steps do I take so the court will know I have tried to enforce the visitation schedule? Typically, a child has a say on visitation after divorce when the child is considered old enough to make an informed choice an express an opinion. Tracy's Question: My 17 year old has had some issues with his dad and on occasion has refused to go to the visitation. … Contact. There are people that mistakenly assume that when a child is 12 years old, the child can choose which parent to stay with after a divorce. There is a fine line between a parent violating a visitation order and the child actively resisting visitation to the point the parent can’t compel visitation. Diane's Question: My daughter is 18 but still a senior in high school. By WomansDivorce.com | Updated May 29, 2019, Get exclusive articles, tips, and resources. As kids get older, they sometimes resent how visitation seems to interrupt their plans. Most judges understand that once a child reaches their teenage years, it may become more difficult to force them to visit with a noncustodial parent against their will. What would be best is if your son could learn to have an independent relationship with his dad where he arranges time to spend together on his own. There’s no set age when a child can refuse visitation. Brette's Answer: It is difficult when children reach an age where they start to have commitments that don't mesh with visitation. This leaves them wondering about the reasons for their resistance and what they can do about it. Mary's Question: I have been divorced for 4 years. On the contrary, if the court believes interviewing the child is appropriate, the judge will weigh the child’s opinion equally with the other above-listed factors. Help! My son is 8.5 and has had no contact my ex partner, his father, in 3 years. There were probably times when you were a teenager that you didn't want to spend time with your parents, and it's no different for kids of divorced parents. You're doing the right thing in encouraging him to go, but it's up to him. He is afraid to say that yes his dad did beat him. Issues of child support, custody and visitation rights arise during divorce proceedings. 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