Can a Child Refuse Visitation in Arizona?
If your child won’t visit you after a divorce or refuses to visit your former spouse, you are likely wondering what to do next. Fret not, as your Arizona family law attorney will steer you in the right direction. Every parent in Arizona should know the state’s law favors custody arrangements that provide little ones with a significant amount of time with each parent. State judges, government leaders and family law attorneys are well aware of the fact that psychological research indicates it is in a child’s interest to maximize the amount of time spent with both parents.
However, some kids simply do not want to spend time with mom or dad for various reasons. Some reasons are legitimate while others are illogical. Let’s take a look at what occurs in such a situation.
Try to Solve the Problem Right Away
There is no harm in asking your little one why he or she does not want to spend time with mom or dad. If you can pinpoint the real reason why your youngster does not want to visit with your or your former husband or wife, you can address that issue head-on.
As an example, some kids blame one parent for causing the divorce and do not want to spend time with that individual. However, if you and your former spouse make it clear that both parents agreed to divorce and neither is fully at fault, the child will be that much more likely to want to spend time with both parents.
In other situations, the child might not want to visit with the parent in a particular setting. Some kids do not feel comfortable spending time with a parent after divorce in specific contexts such as public places or even at that parent’s home. If necessary, do not hesitate to lean on a therapist for assistance and ongoing guidance while you and your little ones work through the aftermath of your divorce.
Taking Legal Action
If the child insists on avoiding one parent or spending very little time with that parent and your attempt to persuade him/her to adhere to the visitation schedule fails, it might be time to take legal action. Your family law attorney can request a modification of the parenting plan.
Though it is possible to reach an informal agreement with your former husband or wife to alter the parenting plan, it is best to take the formal steps necessary to ensure the new language is presented in court. Your family law attorney in Arizona will present the modified visitation schedule to the court. If the modified schedule is approved, there won’t be any issues down the line in the event of a conflict pertaining to the time spent with the child.
There are some instances when a parent who has primary custody of the child rightfully refuses visitation. As an example, if there is a legitimate concern that the youngster’s safety or health are at risk, the parent is justified in his or her refusal of visitation with the other parent. However, every Arizona parent should be aware that court approval is necessary to discontinue or limit visitation if the parent in question poses a threat to the child’s well-being, health or safety.
If you even slightly suspect your former husband or wife has abused your child or acted in a manner that makes your child unsafe in that parent’s presence, the court should be notified. Your Arizona family law attorney will present your concerns in court with the goal of protecting your child.