Can My Child Refuse to See the Parent?
Here’s a scenario for you: You and your ex-husband recently got a divorce and your children have been taken it hard. You both are on friendly terms and have joint custody of your children. You both agree that the father will take the children for the summer. Although your son is excited, your daughter doesn’t want to go. She refuses and cries at the thought of leaving you alone. Is it possible for the child to refuse her father’s request?
Unfortunately, no. Many times, children do not have much say in joint custody matters. It’s usually up to the courts to decide on custody matters and it all boils down to the best interest of the child. Since you and your ex-husband have joint custody, that means the father has the right to have the child for the summer. you may want to talk to your children and explain the situation, so they aren’t confused about what’s happening.
By the child not seeing the noncustodial parent, the person who will get into trouble would be you. Your ex could say that you are in contempt of court, even if you are not intentionally refusing the child to go. No matter what, you are responsible for following the legal agreement you made with your ex in court.
However, there may be more of an issue just beneath the surface. You may want to ask the child why she doesn’t want to see the father. Could something be going on? For instance, it may be just a case of your child not wanting to be without her friends for the summer. It’s best to communicate with your daughter and your ex to come up with a solution so everyone is happy in this scenario.
And if it’s something else — like your ex is hitting your daughter? If that is the case, then you may want to speak with an experienced child custody lawyer to see if you are able to modify the joint custody agreement.
If you live in New Jersey and need help with your child custody agreement, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.