There could be many reasons your child may resist visitation with his or her other parent. As children grow older, they may prefer to socialize with their peers instead of visiting their other parent. Younger children may be hesitant to spend the night in another home. Children may also dislike step-parents or step-siblings. Whatever the reason might be, you should discuss your situation with a Michigan child custody attorney before the situation becomes serious enough to require court intervention.
Court Ordered Visitation is Not Optional
Even though your child may resist spending time with his or her other parent, court-ordered visitation is not optional. You must comply with the time-sharing plan or face court sanctions. The court cannot force a parent to exercise his or her right to visitation with a child. However, the court can enforce a parenting time schedule even though a child is resistant to visitation with the parent.
What Can I Do?
If your child is refusing to spend time with his or her other parent, there could be a reason. Seeking professional counseling and therapy may provide answers as to why your child is hesitant to spend time with the other parent. If you suspect that your child is being abused or mistreated, you should contact an attorney immediately. In cases involving the threat of imminent harm, contact child protective services and law enforcement agents.
It can be helpful to remember that your child may simply be acting out. You are still the parent. You would not allow your child to set up his or her own rules for school, bedtime, and eating habits. You and your child's other parent have worked out a parenting time schedule that is in the best interest of all parties. You may simply need to help your child understand that he or she must follow the schedule.
Petitioning the Court for A Change in Parenting Time
If you cannot resolve the matter with your child and your child's other parent, you may need to petition the court for a change in parenting time. There is not a set age when a child can determine when he or she will see a parent. However, the older the child, the more weight the judge may give to a child's preference regarding parenting time. The judge will consider all factors, including the desire of your child's other parent to maintain a close relationship with your child.
In some cases, the court may order supervised visitation to protect a child and to help determine if there are problems that can be resolved. A trained therapist or counselor can observe the interaction between a parent and child and assist in possibly repairing the emotional bond between a parent and a child that might have been harmed because of a divorce.
Contact Our Michigan Child Custody Lawyer for Help
If you have questions regarding custody or parenting time in Michigan, contact our Michigan child custody attorneys. We are here to help you with original custody cases, modifications of custody orders, child support, and parenting time complications and issues.