If your child doesn’t want to visit the other parent there are certain things that you should consider. Like other states, Oklahoma considers regular and continuous contact between a minor child and parent an essential part of a parent-child relationship. However, this can be more difficult when parents divorce or when you have an order for paternity setting out custody and visitation in place. The important thing to think about is what the family court considers best for both the parents and the child. Various circumstances can interfere with a noncustodial parent spending time with a child, such as when the child does not want to see the parent. What happens next in this situation?
The Best Interests Of The Child
Oklahoma law requires courts to consider the best interests of the child’s physical, mental, and moral welfare when awarding custody to parents. The thing about best interest of the child its not always as easy to decide as many of us think. Determining the best interests of the child requires a look at the chills interest in their totality. Only after looking at all the facts and evidence surrounding the child does a Judge decide custody and visitation.
Visitation And The Best Interests Of The Child In Oklahoma
When making decisions affecting child custody in a divorce or paternity case, courts will consider the best interest of the child. If both parents are allowed to spend time with the child, courts encourage parents to work together to ensure the child and parents see each other frequently. Courts consider, among other factors, which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent. Suppose a parent repeatedly fails to allow the child to visit the other parent. In that case, courts can modify custody and parenting time. But, suppose on the other side, if your child doesn’t want to visit the other parent a judge could look at all the circumstances surrounding that decision and decide it is in the best interest of the child.
Do The Feelings Of The Custodial Parent Matter If A Child Refuses To Visit Another Parent?
Under Oklahoma law, a parent can legally prevent the child from visiting the noncustodial parent. Circumstances are limited to a reasonable belief that the child is being harmed, neglected, or abused. In this situation, a child’s refusal to visit the other parent may be justified since it is based on fear of further harm, neglect, or abuse.
If the child is not subject to any threat of danger, you must determine the reason(s) why the child is refusing to visit. If your child resists, you must document each instance of refusal. You must include any related circumstances that indicate that you made an effort to comply with the visitation schedule. You can be held in contempt if your child refuses to participate and you did not try to follow the court order. Because the courts value the rights of both parents they may require you to file and emergency custody case and show cause why its in the best interest to stop the visitation all together on an emergency basis.
Do The Child’s Feelings Matter?
Divorce or paternity cases involving children will contain a custody order and visitation schedule. The order will either set out joint custody or sole custody. Legally, the custodial parent must follow the visitation schedule. A child must comply until 18 years of age or is emancipated. From a practical standpoint, it can be challenging to follow the visitation schedule if the minor child clearly expresses disinterest and refuses to travel to see the other parent.
The Court’s Initial Custody And Visitation Decision
Oklahoma law contains a rebuttable presumption that any child 12 years of age or older can provide a preference for either parent. However, the court will consider additional evidence in a custody and visitation order. The court will always base its final decision on the child’s best interests. The child’s preference is only one factor. Under those circumstances where your child doesn’t Want to visit the other parent a modification of the existing order could be an option. If the court decides that the Childs preference is not influenced by a parent acting poorly there is a good chance of changing the existing order.
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The Age Of The Minor Child
The child’s age can affect the custodial parent’s liability in a contempt proceeding for failing to follow a custody and visitation order. For example, a court is more likely to find that a parent has failed to follow a visitation schedule when refusing to take an unwilling toddler to the other parent. However, a court is more likely to sympathize if the child is a teenager. Even if a child refuses visitation, courts do not punish children.
Are The Child’s Feelings Genuine?
It is not uncommon for a custodial parent to seek revenge on a former spouse. Sometimes this is found when one parent keeps the child from the noncustodial parent. In these cases, the minor child may truly want to visit and spend time with the noncustodial parent but is prevented by the custodial parent. In this case the court will rule against the parent acting this way. Oklahoma statutes decided long ago that shared parenting or following court orders is in the best interest of the child.
Tulsa Child Custody Attorneys Near You
Every divorce or child custody case is different, and the Kania Law Firm treats every case as a unique matter with particular challenges. The key to a successful child custody arrangement is understanding what kind the parents want Court prefer. Our knowledgeable family lawyers are experienced in settling custody and visitation issues that arise from Oklahoma and family law cases. Call 918-743-2233 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney.