During a divorce and custody hearing, the court typically aims to ensure that both parents have equal opportunities to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children. Unfortunately, sometimes children resist these arrangements. If your child resists court-ordered visitation with the other parent, you might wonder how you should handle it.
There are a few things to know ahead of time in case your child refuses their upcoming visitation schedule.
Embrace open communication
Have an open conversation with your child about the source of the resistance. They might fear the changes or struggle with the transition and the other parent’s new residence. Sometimes, just listening to your child and validating their feelings can help them work through the situation.
Understand court procedures
Violating a court order can leave you facing significant legal consequences. If your child refuses visitation, document the situation and file a petition for reconsideration with the court. This shows good faith and allows you to address the potential problem with the court’s support or further direction.
Consider a gradual transition
Remember that dealing with a divorce and switching households can be stressful for your child, especially in the beginning. Gradual transitions can ease your child into the changes. Start with short visits and extend the duration gradually as your child becomes more comfortable. This can reduce anxiety and build trust.
There were more than 689,000 divorces in the United States in 2021. Many of these divorces included custody orders and court-ordered visitation schedules. If your child refuses visitation for any reason, address the situation with your child, the other parent and the court.