teenager ignoring motherThis is the next article in my series on whether Melbourne, Florida children can refuse visitation with a parent. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you find yourself facing such a situation. It is important that you speak with counsel sooner, rather than later, as allowing the situation to go on can result in the Court finding it to be the “status quo.” Such a finding will impact how the Court views a subsequent custody modification request. In this article I will discuss whether children can invoke a blanket refusal on all visitation. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Courts Will Typically Not Allow Children To Completely Refuse Visitation

A child’s wishes are one of the factors Courts will consider when setting a visitation schedule. The extent to which a Court will give weight to a child’s wishes will depend on their age and maturity. On one end of the spectrum, the Court will not be concerned with a small child’s preference. On the other end of the spectrum, the Court will give great weight to what an older teenager wants. As children get older, the Court may give them a certain level of discretion as to how they will spend their time. Suppose, for example, that one parent enjoys primary custody of a seventeen year old child. The Court may, for instance, order that the youth is to spend eight days per month with the other parent while allowing the youth to choose when those eight days will be. This is something which the child and the parents will be required to work out together.

A child being permitted to choose their own visitation schedule will not mean that they can completely refuse to spend time with the non-custodial parent. The Court will still require that the non-custodial parent receive their time. Using the example from above, if a child is simply refusing to go through with the visitation, then the Court may order that the child is to spend their time with the parent on a set schedule. A child cannot completely refuse to see a parent until they are eighteen years old and no longer a minor.

Melbourne parents may file a Motion with the Court if their child is refusing visitation

If your child is refusing to follow a visitation schedule then it is important that you bring the situation to the attention of the Court as soon as possible. Allowing the situation to remain in place can result in the Court thinking that you are not prioritizing time with your child. This, in turn, can lead to the Judge being less willing to modify your current custody order. As a Melbourne child custody lawyer, I am familiar with the handling of such matters. My office practices solely in the area of family law and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation.

We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.