Visitation can be tricky when the child involved does not want to see the non-custodial parent. When your child expresses his or her desire not to go see the other parent, you could be put in an awkward position. Failing to follow the agreed-upon child custody order could land you in hot water with the family court. If your child is refusing to see the other parent, here are some tips for handling the situation.
Talk to Your Child
Divorce can leave each party involved feeling hurt and angry. Your child is not exempt from those emotions. He or she might be harboring some anger towards the non-custodial parent or even resentment. If the other parent is in a relationship or has other children, those feelings can be amplified.
Before talking to the other parent about your child's refusal to see him or her, talk to your child. Find out why he or she does not want to visit with the other parent. It might be an issue that is easily resolved by talking to him or her. Even if you are unable to convince your child to go, you can at least have the necessary information to discuss with the other parent.
Meet With the Other Parent
Before it is time for the other parent to pick up your child, ask him or her to meet with you. Try to meet with the parent out of your home and away from the child. This can help avoid a situation in which the child overhears the conversation and becomes even more upset with the other parent.
Explain the situation to the other parent. To avoid accusations that you somehow swayed the child's mind, explain what you said and did to attempt to encourage your child to visit. Ask the other parent to provide input on how to handle the situation.
Attend Family Counseling
Family counseling is a chance for everyone involved to discuss their feelings. It is also a chance for you to show the non-custodial parent that you are invested in your child having a relationship with him or her.
Counseling also provides you with proof that you attempted to resolve the situation in the event that the other parent wants to take you to court to force visitation. If you have a concern about the relationship between the other parent and your child, counseling can also provide you with proof that visitation with him or her might not be in the best interests of the child right now.
Talk to your divorce lawyer if you feel that a modification in the child custody order needs to be made. He or she can review your case and make the decision on which legal action to pursue.