Cutting him out of your life completely is not the answer. The truth is that in Texas, a child cannot decide which parent shall have custody. At what age can my children decide not to go to their biological father’s house for 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. A child cannot unilaterally opt out of a parent's court-ordered possession, regardless of age. To arrange an initial consultation to discuss your rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Amy Humbert, contact Cordell & Cordell. It is often hard for teens to meet and create new relationships with stepparents. I worked with many families who were in similar situations to yours and I know how difficult and frustrating it is for you. Show More. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area, at what age can a child refuse visitation, Why Depositions are Important in Divorce – Men’s Divorce Podcast, Divorce Court in Small or Rural Towns: Special Considerations – Men’s Divorce Podcast, How Hiring a Divorce Attorney Might Save You Money – Men’s Divorce Podcast, Click here for a full listing of offices nationwide. Visitation is designed to benefit the child, not the child’s parents. 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. There’s not a set age at which a child can refuse visitation. Of course, as your child grows older, it can be difficult to “force” him or her to adhere to the visitation schedule. To have grounds to change visitation you've got to have some real facts and solid incidents that show he is putting her in bad situations. She doesn't want to as she is not comfortable with him as he drinks a lot. 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. At what age can a child decide if they want to visit the other parent or not? Brette's Answer: You should talk to your mom about this. Get Expert Advice About Divorce and Custody! Office in Ridgeland, MS. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Brette's Answer: No court is going to force a 17 year old to go on visitation if he doesn't want to. Do I have the legal right to stop her from going to her fathers if she is persistent and cries often and gets angry at me and throws fits because she has to go to his house and doesn't want too? What usually happens is that a child that is age 12 and above is given a chance to have a say in where they will live. In Texas, children who are at least 12 years of age can have a say in where they will live, but a judge does not have to follow the child’s wishes. There is no set age at which a child can decide if they wish to visit with a parent, except that once the child is 18 years of age, s/he is no longer considered a minor and visitation orders do not apply to the child (absent special circumstances such as a guardianship for a disabled child, etc.). I understand your concerns though. Although I know this is a subtle case of Parental Alienation, I am not seeking an adversarial process. It also sounds like the exchanges are filled with tension and this could be making your son upset, or more upset. Ask that a guardian ad litem be appointed to represent the children and their point of view so that the court can be made aware of why they don't want to go on visitation. A child at least 16 years of age can seek a change in custody on his/her own. Parenting Arrangements – Children’s Views. I would also suggest you talk to the coach and explain the situation. Sometimes children go through stages where they don't want to go and have no good reason, but there could be a real problem. 415 (N.C.App. By WomansDivorce.com | Updated May 29, 2019, Get exclusive articles, tips, and resources. If you and your ex can work together and present a united front, it will help her get through it. WA state child custody and visitation laws, at what age can child decide to live with certain parent. Brette's Answer: Dear Linda, I know how difficult your situation is. Is it legal for a teen to choose if they want to go or not? Your son is old enough to make up his own mind about the situation and if you did have to go back to court, the judge would simply talk to him and get his perspective and you wouldn't be at fault. Is this schedule confusing for them? Victoria's Question: My parents are divorced and my dad and I don't get along. At What Age Can a Child Refuse Visitation in California? 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. 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. The request in and of itself is not going to be enough. The answer is that there is no magic age. The decision is never completely up to the child. Would a judge order counseling if my son doesn't want to see me? Category: Family Law. A child so close to majority usually has his preference followed. 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. Ami's Question: My ex-husband was charged with emotional maltreatment of our 15-yr old daughter. 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. You could have your son evaluated by a therapist to try to find out what is going on. Legal Age For Child To Choose Custody. The court works with both parents to agree about primary physical custody and a visitation schedule. Tell him that maybe you can work together to find some alternate solutions that will work. There’s no set age when a child can refuse visitation. Vida's Question: My 14 year old son has been refusing to live with me and has stayed with his father. Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. If the parent still desires to visit with the child in question, he or she can request the court enforce the parenting agreement through mandatory visitation. To summarise: until a child is 18 years or older, they are considered a minor. He has sent me a certified letter stating that he wants to have some type of visitation with her. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more. Depending on what the therapist says custody may need to be adjusted. Another possibility is for your ex and your son to see a counselor together to try to resolve the issues between them. They ALWAYS added that they loved me and that I was a child and while I was a child they knew best. 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. 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. Can he force visitation if my almost 18 year old doesn't know him? If your state is similar to Pennsylvania, then the child’s preference is just one factor that court has to consider when deciding on a custody arrangement and /or a modification of the current arrangement. What is my responsibility in trying to force him to go? Is he saying bad things about you or your boyfriend? It's not really up to you - she's old enough that her opinion will be what the court listens to. 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? 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. Answered in 5 minutes by: 3/27/2008. You'll have to file a petition to modify the current order to make that happen though. Whenever I complained about something when I was a kid, my parents always said "when you are 18 you can: decide what you eat, when you sleep, if you go to school, etc. " Whatever the reason, it can put you in a bad position. Talk to your ex about the kinds of options I've suggested above. Lisa's Question: I am another single mom with a visitation issue and concern. Learn how to save time, money, and turmoil. The court will consider the age, gender, maturity level, intelligence, ability to tell the difference between right and wrong, reasons for the child’s preference, preference of other siblings , whether the child has any hostility towards the other parent and if so, why, whether the child has been influenced by one of the party, etc. 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. I really don't want my son to end up suffering more than benefiting. His father is not going to fight me for custody. A finding of child abuse is significant and persuasive to the court. CORDELL & CORDELL, ST. LOUIS, MO. Parent 10-25-2006, 06:41 AM. What age can a child decide to stop visiting Non-Cust. My son is very upset because he may be eliminated from the team if he continues to miss games/practices. The court can modify a custody order if (1) the child is at least 12 years of age and expresses a preference of which parent he or she prefers to live with in chambers to the court, and (2) it is in the best interest of the child. These are the kinds of issues that need to be addressed. She is willing to visit but she doesn't want to sleep over. If she doesn't see him can he stop the child support? He drinks and keeps his house unclean. I would suggest you try to find a compromise. 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. Brette's Answer: If you do not send your children on visitation, it is considered custodial interference which can be the grounds for a change in custody. It’s common for parents to ask at what age their child can decide custody. What are the chances he'll get visitation? I think your attorney ought to be communicating the situation to your ex's attorney - that would be the easiest way to resolve this. Plus, there are situations where the child may have a valid reason for not wanting to go. 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. At What Age Can A Child Decide Custody? A precocious 10-year-old might be permitted to voice her preference, while a learning-disabled 14-year-old might not be. Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. 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. Ten years later, the shoe is now on the other foot, and she does not want a relationship with him. A child can choose to stop visiting their parent once they become emancipated. If his house is a mess, what if he takes her out to eat once a week instead? Code §§ 153.007 (a) and 156.101. Their father lives 6 hours away. Your opinion is very important to the court. It’s a common misconception that once a child reaches a certain age, that child can decide which parent should have custody. He doesn't really have to because our son is refusing to be with me. In New York, what age can a child refuse visitation with the non-custodial parent? If my 18 year old refuses visitation, can he stop support? Parents can decide on who gets to live with the child, but a court has to intervene when parents cannot make this decision. However, Massachusetts courts must consider a child’s custodial preference when the child is mature enough to have a rational opinion. At that point, it is up to the child and parent to continue their relationship as they wish. First of all, you need to know your daughter is not the first and certainly won't be the last teenager who disagrees with a visitation plan. Michelle Ferreri licensed in PA and NJ only - Philadelphia, PA. Dorothy Walsh Ripka licensed in OH, IL, MO, KY and TX only. 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. Also, how old does a child have to be to refuse visitation? Does he have any say, and is there an age when a child can determine whether or not they want to visit a parent? Visitation Decisions Depend on Age. Divorce is hard for everyone involved. At age 14, a child’s request may be considered a material change of circumstances to file a modification of custody. Applicable here is the second ground. 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. On the other hand, it is pretty difficult to force a teenager to visit the other parent if they don’t want to. Help! Share this conversation. What is the age a child can choose to stop visitation to non… Customer Question. For example, Georgia – one of the more progressive states in this regard – sets the age at 14. In Massachusetts, children can’t “decide” where they will live until they are at least 18 years old. All you can do is encourage your son to go. Lisa Karges, Florida Resident Partner - Tampa, FL. Modifying the Custody Order. A judge may order a visitation or custody arrangement that doesn’t align with a child’s preference. As such, you could be in trouble if you don’t comply with the court’s child custody order on visitation. What Age Can a Child Decide Visitation after Divorce? 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. Why is your son afraid? Talk to your ex and explain to him how important these games and practices are and see if he might come down for them instead of taking your son to his house all the time. 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. As kids get older, they sometimes resent how visitation seems to interrupt their plans. Show him you want to make it work. In Massachusetts, children can’t “decide” where they will live until they are at least 18 years old. For example, a child may not want to have visits with an estranged parent. Good luck. My son is 12 and will be 13 in March. Additionally, a child does not have the right to decide when he /she no longer has to visit with the other parent. Get her father involved so he knows what's going on. You need to discuss in detail what your concerns are with specific incidents. If a child does not want to see the other parent, then you should review and alter the earlier order. I can tell you from experience that the court certainly will not permit a 9 year old to decide that they no longer are required to visit with their father unless there is a serious issue such as abuse, addiction, alcoholism, etc. what is the age a child can choose to stop visitation to non coustotian parent? 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. Their dad is rated 100 percent mentally disabled, and has a record of being involuntarily committed to a psych ward for six months for harassing a woman. Hancock v. Hancock, 122 N.C.App. 40ish (oh alright, a little more than 40ish) years later I KNOW they were right. A child can decide about visitation when he is 18 or no longer a minor (at which point visitation is no longer needed). Phylenne's Question: Is there a law that protects a mom from being held responsible for the daughters' refusal to go with dad on visitation? His lawyer said at the admit/deny hearing that it is their plan to lock me up at the hearing and pick up my daughters. At what age can a child decide to stop visitation in Fl and how do we go about it? If a case of emotional abuse was substantiated by Child Protective Services, but I can't get a guardian ad litem appointed and her former counselor won't testify, what options do I have? THIS IS AN ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. Code § 31-17-2-15 (2020). The current schedule is 9 overnights with me and 5 overnights with their dad, on a rotating schedule. I have only been able to see him at his father's home, spent special occasions together and have taken trips as a family. Mary's Question: I have been divorced for 4 years. What is child visitation? 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. This leaves them wondering about the reasons for their resistance and what they can do about it. What if my son is suddenly afraid to go to his Dad's? My 14 year old triplet boys refuse to meet him and spend time with us as a couple. I have been ordered by the court for her to go, and gave my lawyer many items to support my daughter's reasons not wanting to. Giana Messore licensed in AR only – Little Rock, AR. There are alternatives. My attorney says he gets to choose, but my ex’s attorney says he doesn’t. 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). Janet's Question: My 2 daughters are 9 & 12. You need to get an attorney. Resources This is an urban myth that must be debunked. Attorney services are provided by licensed attorneys in every state where Cordell & Cordell offices are located. 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. At other times, a child may feel bitter about the non-custodial parent's significant other. Ask Your Own Family Law Question. unless the child is not safe in that environment. I would encourage you to seek the help of a therapist if you can't make any progress. Fam. Also, visitation generally ends at age 18 when the child becomes an adult. Can a teen to choose if they want go for visitation or not? The child doesn't get to decide until the age of 18. Share this conversation. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Stress that you really want them to spend time together and say you're hoping maybe together you can come up with a way for your daughter to feel more comfortable at his home or with him. Show Less. Age of Majority. Can my teens refuse to spend time with my fiancé and me? A child in the state of Alabama can not opt out of visitation with the non custodial parent until the age of 18. Find out what's going on and see if there are any fixes. 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. My 14 year old daughter does not want to visit with her father. Keep in mind, however, that the preferences of kids and their best interest are not always one and the same thing. I wish you both the best of luck. In Mississippi, “visitation” is the time a child spends with a noncustodial parent and is a very important subject for many parents involved in divorce or custody cases. The following sections try to answer these questions as much as possible. Visitation is designed to benefit the child, not the child’s parents. There’s not a set age at which a child can refuse visitation. If you're going by age, a child can stop visitation with their non-custodial parent when they reach age 18. Best Way to Sell an Engagement Ring after Divorce. 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 … My son is 8.5 and has had no contact my ex partner, his father, in 3 years. How old must a child be to make a request to the judge that she wants to spend less time with her father? He has not ssen him in over a year. Try to get a restraining order or appeal to a judge, at this point you are the only one who can stop it. What if my child doesn't want to visit her abusive father? Show More. Jill writes: Please give me some help and advice. If the child refuses to communicate or visit with a parent, each parent is still required to abide by the custody agreement’s terms until the court can take the appropriate action. Typically, the age of majority is 18. At What Age Can a Child Choose Custody in New York? Brette's Answer: You can subpoena her counselor. However, I have encouraged him to go anyway. My children refuse to visit their father because they are afraid of him. 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. 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. Phyllis MacCutcheon licensed in CT and NM only. (My ex has said he'd take me to court on contempt charges). The law considers a child’s emotional and intellectual maturity and age when considering their wishes. Yes, the parties may agree on the type of custody that fits their circumstances and present their agreement to the judge for approval. Would the judge at least order counseling for my son and me? Generally, however, it's incumbent upon the judge to decide whether a child is mature enough to have a reasonable opinion. The boys go to their dads each month, holidays, 6 weeks in summer, spring break, etc. Many custodial parents are hesitant to force their child into visitation if it makes the child unhappy. No. It sounds to me like you're doing all the rights things. My boys are 13 and 11. Instead, the judge decides whether a child is old and mature enough to express an opinion on a case-by-case basis. Remember your role as a parent . The following sections try to answer these questions as much as possible. She is still a minor and it's in her best interest to have two parents in her life. 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. I have been seeing a man for 18 months now and we are planning on getting married. what is the age a... what is the age a child can choose to stop visitation to non coustotian parent? He might have very specific things that bother him that could be changed, for example having to spend time with his dad's girlfriend or not being allowed to see his friends while at his dad's house. A child does not have the legal right to choose which parent to live with or to decide he or she no longer has to visit with the other parent. After a child attains this age, he has all the legal rights of an adult, including the ability to decide with whom he wants to associate. Child support and visitation are two separate things, What to do when your child resists visitation. Bernadette's Question: The father of my 17 1/2 yr. old daughter has never had any type of contact with her. However, whether you like it or not he is your dad and will be for the rest of your life. Parenting plans or custody orders will stay in place until a child reaches 18, is emancipated, or the order is modified. Brette's Answer: I think it is good to never give up on your child. Girls can decide for themselves at the age of twelve and boys, usually at fourteen. He has previously used his own flesh and blood for sex for his buddies in the past. If you give in, you're giving the child control of the situation. Susan's Question: I have a custody agreement which puts me as primary care giver of my daughter. And you can focus on helping your daughter cope with whatever outcome you have by having her see a counselor who can help her work through her feelings about her dad. 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. 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. These tips can help turn your marriage bling into money. 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. Does my daughter still have to see him? I only want to see my son. See Ind. Encouraging Visitation. It’s common for parents to ask at what age their child can decide custody. Modifying the Custody Order. A parent may also be asking themselves, "At what age can a child decide if they want to visit the other parent?" The thing to understand is that most kids go through phases where they want to spend less time with one parent or the other. However, Massachusetts courts must consider a child’s custodial preference when the child is mature enough to have a rational opinion. And can’t decide themselves which parent … 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. Are afraid of him was 13, is emancipated the shoe is now on the of! Want a relationship with him and spend time with my fiancé and me child refuse visitation in California possibility for... Case of Parental Alienation, I completely understand your worries about what is age. Father visitation with the visitation schedule, you can do is encourage your son to go to dad! I would encourage you to seek the help of a therapist to to! 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