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Children and Divorce

Does a child have to visit a parent who has visitation rights?

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2012-12-13 18:45:27
2012-12-13 18:45:27

Yes. The only way to stop visitation is for the court modify the original ruling, but they will need strong evidence that it would be detrimental to the child to continue going to visit the other parent. If the child is refusing to go, the first thing you should do is to find out why your child doesn't want to visit the other parent.

You can hire an attorney and take your ex spouse to court if you believe your child is being abused. But you will have to present real proof; a judge can't, and won't, make a determination based only on heresay. A large reason for that is many parents have used false allegations of abuse as a weapon against their ex spouses, doing it purely for personal, vengeful reasons. Judges have seen many parents who have "coached" their children in what to say, just to get back at their ex spouse.

In most cases a child does need both parents, but there are always exceptions to the rule. The courts realize there are parents who do abuse their children, or allow the child's step parent to abuse the child, so you will need to present the facts as clearly and concisely as possible, keeping to the issues at hand.

But the courts also realize there are parents who will make false accusations towards their ex spouse based on their own personal feelings, even when there is no abuse involved. You can't use your personal dislike of a parent or step parent as a basis for any allegations.

So if you feel your child is being mistreated in any way, the best thing to do is to take the case to court, and be sure to have as much proof as possible. The proof can include photos of physical abuse, such as bruises, etc., witnesses who have seen or heard physical or emotional abuse, the child's testimony (in private chambers, depending on the child's age and circumstances, but usually with both attorneys present).

School records can also help, including the teachers, school guidance counselor, or school nurse; they are trained to detect even the smallest changes in a child's behavior. If the child's grades go down or if the child's behavior changes, they will have noticed this, especially if you have already talked to them and explained the situation, asking them to make note of the child's behavior.

Also, be sure to document things your child says and does when returning from the other parent's home. Don't coach them in what they say or do, just be sure to document what they say or do on their own. That doesn't mean you shouldn't ask your child things such as "Did you have a good time with your dad", or something similar.

That will be an opening for your child to tell you how he or she was treated, things that may have happened to upset your child, inappropriate things they may have been subjected to, such as porn, vulgar language, etc. In other words, do all you can to be prepared and to present the facts as they are to the court.

You also have to consider the possibility that the child may have more rules at the other parent's home, which the child doesn't like. Often, children want to be with the parent who is more lenient, or allows them more freedom to do the things they want to do. Some parents, after divorcing, tend to become the 'fun' parent, thus making the other parent seem too strict when, in fact, they are merely doing what good parents to - enforcing rules for safety, health, academics, etc. If this is the case, then the child needs to be taught those rules are in place and enforced only because that parent does love them.

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With visitation rights? Yes, if it's court ordered.

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A parent has visitation rights unless the Judge orders otherwise.If the offending parent gets arrested and convicted the custodial parent can file in court and POSSIBLY have the visitation rights revoked.

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If there is a court order for visitation it has to be followed until the child turns 18. If there is a legitimate reason the child does not want to visit (ie the parent is a drug user, is abusive, etc), then the custodial parent needs to go back to court and request that the visitation order be modified.

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Yes. The custodial parent must follow the visitation schedule or they will be in contempt of a court order. Any changes to the visitation schedule must be made by the court through a modification


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