Making a child reasonably available doesn’t mean that one parent has to force the visit or drag a child kicking and screaming from one car to the other. The children are with Jennifer 60% of the time, with Michael, 40% of the time. The non-custodial parent may feel betrayed and hurt. We are an Atlanta law firm specializing in divorce and family law with offices in Marietta, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Fayetteville, and Johns Creek. The Court held that visitation is a part of custody and is still subject to judicial review to protect the child from coercion by the other parent. physical abuse – then you should take action in court immediately. Many custodial parents are hesitant to force their child into visitation if it makes the child unhappy. However, a parent with a young child versus a parent with a teenager are two very different scenarios. When your child does not want to visit with the other parent, you need to ensure that you are not directly violating the Court order, granting custody to the other parent by withholding visitation. When your child does not want to come see you, the primary concern should be how to deal with things. However, if there is a seriously negative situation at the other parent’s home – i.e. If your teenager doesn’t want to have parenting time with the other parent, you should try to determine the reasons why. It is important to note that Courts want both parents to be involved in their children’s life. Legally, the answer may be “yes”. You should not just simply stop visitation. However, the Court found that the desire of the child not to visit with the other parent remains subject to review by the Court and determination of what is in the child’s best interest must be made in any other modification or alteration of visitation rights. The custodial parent may be alienating the child from the other parent. Also, pursuant to Georgia law, children between the ages of 11-14, may also express their desire and courts put substantial weight. The short answer is yes, but with caveats. Therefore, the visitation election of the child had been subject to judicial review. 842 Route 25A Plus, there are situations where the child may have a valid reason for not wanting to go. To schedule a confidential consultation at one of our four convenient locations, please call (678) 971-3413 or request an appointment online today. The Georgia Supreme Court in Prater v. Wheeler, 253 GA 649 (1984) found that a child aged 14 and older has the right to choose not to visit the non-custodial parent. It may also help to document each instance of your child’s refusal, and the circumstances surrounding the event. Uniondale, NY 11556. Parents can decide visitation on their own, or hire a mediator to help. I love it! David P. Badanes, Esq. Teenager doesn't want to visit non-custodial parent. It should not just be because they are “bored”. 405 RXR Plaza, Uniondale, NY 11556(By Appointment Only). This will make the courts view you in a more positive light, than just not delivering the child at all. All Rights Reserved. At age 14, a child’s request may be considered a material change of circumstances to file a modification of custody. It depends on the age of the child and the state. This doesn’t mean that mom is required to physically deliver the child to dad. At other times, a child may feel bitter about the non-custodial parent's significant other. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale. If you cut-off all visitation with the other parent, there could be serious negative consequences to you. After the Prater decision, the legislature added to the statute “nothing in code section shall be interpreted to deny the noncustodial parent the right to reasonable visitation determined by the court”. Thank you for this question. I am however, a divorced mom, a high school teacher of at risk youth, and a family mediator. With COVID-19, How Long Will My Divorce Be Delayed? First, let me tell you, I am NOT a lawyer and I cannot give you legal advice. However, the Court found that the desire of the child not to visit with the other parent remains subject to review by the Court and determination of what is in the child’s best interest must be made in any other modification or alteration of visitation rights. Wheeler, 253 GA 649 (1984) found that a child aged 14 and older has the right to choose not to visit the non-custodial parent. 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, if there is a seriously negative situation at the other parent’s home – i.e. As kids get older, they sometimes resent how visitation seems to interrupt their plans. Could there be sexual abuse that the teen is not talking about? by David Badanes | January 28, 2019. On one hand, the custodial parent doesn’t want to face penalties or possible jail-time for violating a court-imposed custody schedule. Basic Legal Requirement to File For a Divorce in New York, Why it is Important to Have a Will in NY After COVID. You need to speak to family court to find out the laws in your state. 2020 © Stearns‑Montgomery & Proctor. What legal applies, then, if a/the 14-year-old who chooses to live with one parent doesn’t want to visit with the other parent? While their desire not to see the other parent may be totally out of your control, the consequences of your child refusing to attend visitations could impact your whole family. 842 Route 25A, Northport, NY 11768 If you don’t comply with the visitation schedule, you can get in trouble for not making them go. When a child refuses to visit a parent, the custodial parent and the attorney are put in a tenuous position. Michael and Jennifer have been amicably divorced for six years. For example, if a child is too ill or too sick to visit, then you could legitimately have a valid reason to keep the child at your home. However, the child better be “truly sick”, as the other parent could order a “well check”, by calling the police to see if the child is ill or too sick to visit. Do I Need to File for a Legal Separation Before Filing for a Divorce? In cases where parents can’t agree, a judge will decide visitation and custody based on the child’s best interests.Your custody order will designate which parent(s) has legal and physical custody. This refusal may result from alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. Weekend and evening appointments are available. Call us at 631-239-1702 or email David Badanes, Esq. If there is a Court Order requiring “visitation” or “parenting time”, then, you are required to follow the Court’s Order. Although, you are required to follow a Court’s Order, there is also a “reasonableness” and common-sense factor. The trial court, however, is not precluded from considering the wishes of the child. I Want to Get Divorced Now, But Can’t Due to Coronavirus – Here’s What You Can Do. Many divorced parents experience times when their child refuses visitation with the other parent. The child can choose not to visit, but that decision is still subject to judicial review. If you are contemplating divorce or adjusting to life after divorce and would like to speak with an attorney, we invite you to get in touch. David P. Badanes, Esq. If there is a Court Order requiring “visitation” or “parenting time”, then, you are required to follow the Court’s Order. In some cases, the child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial turmoil or stress related to the divorce. As outlined in their final decree of divorce they split custody of the children on a 60/40 basis. If you have questions regarding custody and are thinking of seeking legal action, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. You should not just simply stop visitation. With offices in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Marietta, the family lawyers at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor provide experienced divorce representation throughout the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. In September 2016, in Dallow v. Dallow, 2016 WL 4729551, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued an order finding that the mother was not in contempt when the child did not want to visit the father, because she did not actually interfere or withhold visitation. For example, the Court could determine that you are no longer eligible for child support. At other times, a child may feel bitter about the non-custodial parent's significant other. In contrast, a teenager who is over the age of 16 years of age, may not be “forced” to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent. Often, a child psychologist may be able to help you and your child find the best way to help sort out the circumstances surrounding the emotional upheaval of the child. physical abuse – then you should take action in court immediately. They have three children ages 6-14. app 521 (1991), following the statute addition, the Court of Appeals found that the additional language in the statute supported their holding in Prater and did not, in fact, change it. This leaves them wondering about the reasons for their resistance and what they can do about it. The custodial parent’s attorney has a duty to help the client avoid these situations. Non-custodial parent lives in New England area. The custodial parent may be frustrated and worried. at david@dbnylaw.com. They may wonder if the other parent manipulated their child into feeling this way.