• Yes. The noncustodial parent may petition the court to enforce the visitation provisions of the divorce judgment. Although the child is 16 years old, the child is still a minor and does not have veto power over a noncustodial parent's court-ordered right to visitation. Visitation is the only means that the noncustodial parent and the child have to develop and maintain a relationship. At the age of 16, it is understandable that a child would want to spend the summer with her "Texas" friends and/or engage in some planned activity (i.e., joining a softball team) with those friends. However, when the noncustodial parent lives in Ohio, the child's desires to spend the summer in Texas cannot be accomodated. The child would miss the rewarding experience of bonding with her noncustodial parent if her immature or childish whims are allowed to reign supreme. The custodial parent has a duty to encourage and foster the child's relationship with her noncustodial parent. That means the custodial parent must send the child for visitation even if the child doesn't want to go. If the custodial parent encourages or facilitates the child's "refusal" to spend time with the noncustodial parent, this may be grounds for monetary sanctions against the custodial parent. The custodial parent may be ordered to pay the lawyer fees and costs incurred by the noncustodial parent to enforce the visitation order. A custodial parent's efforts (no matter how subtle) to poison the relationship between the child and her noncustodial parent may also constitute grounds for a change of custody.
  • Getting Visitation When Child Refuses Question: What must I do if the child won't go on visits with the other parent? Answer: In your child's situation, you have an obligation to surrender the child according to the ordered schedule, which you apparently have done. If you think the schedule is inappropriate, you must go to court to modify the schedule. If you refuse to allow visitation, you could be held in contempt of the order, fined, possibly jailed and be ordered to pay attorneys fees. Courts in the Dallas area have little tolerance for refusal of access to the child under a standard order. The upshot is that the older kids get, the more the child's schedule and activities should be taken into account. However, the court also is concerned that the child spend extended time with both parents. There is no magic age at which the child may "choose" not to visit with the other parent. You should probably take the child to a counselor available on your health plan, which will help the child and provide necessary documentation for the court proceedings. If you notice, your teenagers school activities, extra curricular activities, and sports can big a big factor, it will help you by saying that their schedule is to busy with school activities or sports. I dony know if going to counsler in this situation is going to be helpful. The age of your child is right in the ballpark wherein a judge could be receptive to not only hearing but heeding her testimony. Also, most courts will base determinations on legal custody using a “best interest of the child” standard. That means that even if your child testifies she does not want visitation with one parent, etc., the judge may disregard the child’s express wishes and enforce reasonable visitation. Most states take the view that some contact with both parents is generally in the child’s best interest, no matter what the child may think at the time. Think broccoli here. So, the above is offered to help you consider that your child testifying (or not) does not determine the outcome of a request to modify visitation; it may alter it slightly. Rather, the particular factual circumstances and relevant state law are the big factors in determining a visitation modification request. Your attorney will guide you on what fact delivery approaches, perhaps including child testimony, will get your there.

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