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Responding to a child who refuses visitation with the other parent

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | Family Law

In some cases, children of separated or divorced parents in Ohio may not want to visit the other parent. This could happen because of rules, disagreements, others who live in that home or something else. It is important to know what to do when a child refuses visitation with the other parent.

Find out why the child does not want to go

Talk to the child to figure out if there is a problem. Ask questions to see if the child is upset or possibly feels unsafe there. If the child feels unsafe, it is especially important to find out why. New safety issues may be a family law concern when it comes to custody arrangements.

Encourage the child to visit the other parent

After talking to the child to learn the reason for not wanting to go, let the child know that those feelings are valid and understandable. Try to provide some reasons why visitation is important. Let the child know that the other parent values that time.

Notify the other parent

Tell the other parent about the situation. It is important to be open and honest about problems or concerns. Let the other parent know what steps were taken to encourage visitation if the child refused every attempt. When other stepparents or co-parents are involved, it may help to arrange a meeting with all parties present to discuss the issue. If the other parent is difficult to communicate with or may cause problems, it may help to have a neutral third party present for any meetings about visitation issues.

It also helps to document any refusals. Note the time, reason and what was done. Be sure to find out how visitation refusals may impact custody arrangements.