Yes, the parties may agree on the type of custody that fits their circumstances and present their agreement to the judge for approval. FREE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. Answered in 5 minutes by: 3/27/2008. The child doesn't get to decide until the age of 18. Mary's Question: I have been divorced for 4 years. Now that being said, I completely understand your worries about what is happening at his house. The law considers a child’s emotional and intellectual maturity and age when considering their wishes. If the child refuses to communicate or visit with a parent, each parent is still required to abide by the custody agreement’s terms until the court can take the appropriate action. Age of Child and Custody – One of the most common questions parents ask is at what age can their children choose the custody and access arrangements. What Age Can a Child Refuse Visitation in Washington? Show him you want to make it work. My 9 year old son is expressing a lot of dissatisfaction about having to miss out on his key events to visit his father. Breaching a court order is very serious. Under the Family Law Act 1975 (“the Act”), the court is only able to make orders in relation to children who are under the age of 18 years. Diane's Question: My daughter is 18 but still a senior in high school. Brette's Answer: No court is going to force a 17 year old to go on visitation if he doesn't want to. Is it hard to deal with school while going and back and forth like this? This can include decisions about visitation. You need to discuss in detail what your concerns are with specific incidents. There needs to be some proof that a change would benefit the kids. If the parent still desires to visit with the child in question, he or she can request the court enforce the parenting agreement through mandatory visitation. However, Massachusetts courts must consider a child’s custodial preference when the child is mature enough to have a rational opinion. Brette's Answer: No you don't. The court works with both parents to agree about primary physical custody and a visitation schedule. He visits his Dad 6 weeks in the summer and one weekend a month. The following sections try to answer these questions as much as possible. He drinks and keeps his house unclean. In Georgia, once a child turns 14 he or she may choose which parent will be their primary custodial parent, however, there are instances when a judge can overrule the child’s election. Brette's Answer: Child support and visitation are two separate things. A judge will enforce visitation orders or even hold a parent in contempt if that parent is preventing visits between the child and the other parent. Brette's Answer: You can subpoena her counselor. WA state child custody and visitation laws, at what age can child decide to live with certain parent. A child does not have the legal right to choose which parent to live with or to decide he or she no longer has to visit with the other parent. Many divorced parents experience times when their child refuses visitation with the other parent. There is no set age at which a child can decide if they wish to visit with a parent, except that once the child is 18 years of age, s/he is no longer considered a minor and visitation orders do not apply to the child (absent special circumstances such as a guardianship for a disabled child, etc.). I think it would be great if your mom could help you find someone to talk about this - maybe a counselor or therapist. At that point, it is up to the child and parent to continue their relationship as they wish. About Brette's Answer: Hi Mary. Also, visitation generally ends at age 18 when the child becomes an adult. What usually happens is that a child that is age 12 and above is given a chance to have a say in where they will live. Don't accuse and don't judge. After a child attains this age, he has all the legal rights of an adult, including the ability to decide with whom he wants to associate. Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men. I wish you both the best of luck. Although a child can never decide issues relating to custody or visitation, Tennessee law requires a court to consider the wishes of a child over the age of 12 when making visitation related decisions. It’s a common misconception that once a child reaches a certain age, that child can decide which parent should have custody. To summarise: until a child is 18 years or older, they are considered a minor. The key to this conversation is to try to approach it like you and he are solving a problem together, not as if you are confronting him (and this is not to say you aren't totally entitled to do so, but it's not going to be productive). Visitation is designed to benefit the child, not the child’s parents. My 14 year old triplet boys refuse to meet him and spend time with us as a couple. Share this conversation. Most judges understand that once a child reaches their teenage years, it may become more difficult to force them to visit with a noncustodial parent against their will. What are the chances he'll get visitation? Is this schedule confusing for them? As such, you could be in trouble if you don’t comply with the court’s child custody order on visitation. It depends on that particular child's ability. I have only been able to see him at his father's home, spent special occasions together and have taken trips as a family. 01-27-2008, 10:33 AM #2. jk. ~Brette~. Children do not get to decide about visitation. Articles I would suggest you try to find a compromise. In the context of a child custody case, visitation is defined as the rights for a non-custodial parent to see their child, or as temporary custody that's been granted for a period of time to an otherwise non-custodial parent or relative. The court can modify a custody order if (1) the child is at least 12 years of age and expresses a preference of which parent he or she prefers to live with in chambers to the court, and (2) it is in the best interest of the child. Encouraging Visitation. Sometimes children go through stages where they don't want to go and have no good reason, but there could be a real problem. He has previously used his own flesh and blood for sex for his buddies in the past. Jill writes: Please give me some help and advice. Bernadette's Question: The father of my 17 1/2 yr. old daughter has never had any type of contact with her. A child over the age of 12 is allowed to give testimony, either in the courtroom or in chambers, in order to express the child’s preferences. Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case. I only want to see my son. No. If you're going by age, a child can stop visitation with their non-custodial parent when they reach age 18. (My ex has said he'd take me to court on contempt charges). The judge does not have to follow the child’s wishes. When can a child decide whether to visit or not? What is child visitation? We attended mediation and mutually agreed in writing that our daughter could choose when to go on visits. He is afraid to say that yes his dad did beat him. Do I have to make my child visit her father? His father is not going to fight me for custody. I think your attorney ought to be communicating the situation to your ex's attorney - that would be the easiest way to resolve this. Can the parties agree as to the custody arrangement for their child? what is the age a... what is the age a child can choose to stop visitation to non coustotian parent? unless the child is not safe in that environment. Additionally, a child does not have the right to decide when he /she no longer has to visit with the other parent. It’s common for parents to ask at what age their child can decide custody. Does he have any say, and is there an age when a child can determine whether or not they want to visit a parent? If your state is similar to Pennsylvania, then the court should hold the custodial parent responsible for ensuring the minor child/children see the noncustodial parents according the custody schedule. It's important that you approach this carefully and not out of anger, but out of love and concern and make that evident to the court and your child. Hancock v. Hancock, 122 N.C.App. The parent with custody is the one that lives with the child while the non-custodial parent is often the person paying child support, and has visitation rights. Modifying the Custody Order. I really don't want my son to end up suffering more than benefiting. If she doesn't see him can he stop the child support? If my 18 year old refuses visitation, can he stop support? There are people that mistakenly assume that when a child is 12 years old, the child can choose which parent to stay with after a divorce. For example, a child may not want to have visits with an estranged parent. Issues of child support, custody and visitation rights arise during divorce proceedings. At that point, it is up to the child and parent to continue their relationship as they wish. And you can focus on helping your daughter cope with whatever outcome you have by having her see a counselor who can help her work through her feelings about her dad. Best Way to Sell an Engagement Ring after Divorce. Can they arrest me if my child refuses visitation? To have grounds to change visitation you've got to have some real facts and solid incidents that show he is putting her in bad situations. If this doesn't work, it might be a good idea for your attorney and you to have a serious face to face talk. These are the kinds of issues that need to be addressed. Age of Majority. Brette's Answer: If you do not send your children on visitation, it is considered custodial interference which can be the grounds for a change in custody. Category: Family Law. Are they allowed to make that decision? Attorney services are provided by licensed attorneys in every state where Cordell & Cordell offices are located. CORDELL & CORDELL, ST. LOUIS, MO. Although a child can never decide issues relating to custody or visitation, Tennessee law requires a court to consider the wishes of a child over the age of 12 when making visitation related decisions. Your daughter's feelings are important, but as her parent, you have to look at the big picture and see that it is important for her to have a relationship with both of her parents. My son was his 1st child and now he has a new daughter with his new wife (she also has a son from someone else). At What Age Can A Child Decide Custody? A parent may also be asking themselves, "At what age can a child decide if they want to visit the other parent?" Child support and visitation are two separate things, What to do when your child resists visitation. What usually happens is that a child that is age 12 and above is given a chance to have a say in where they will live. Stress that you really want them to spend time together and say you're hoping maybe together you can come up with a way for your daughter to feel more comfortable at his home or with him. I would encourage you to seek the help of a therapist if you can't make any progress. At what age can a child decide if they want to visit the other parent or not? I cannot drag him out the door -- what steps do I take so the court will know I have tried to enforce the visitation schedule? In New York, what age can a child refuse visitation with the non-custodial parent? First of all, you need to know your daughter is not the first and certainly won't be the last teenager who disagrees with a visitation plan. Child support is based on the policy that both parents are obligated to support their children, even when the children are not living with both parents. I was told that the age was 13, Is this true?? In a sole physical custody arrangement, the child lives with one parent full-time, even if the non-custodial parent has visitation rights or shares in the legal custody arrangement. Brette's Answer: There is no law about this. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Show Less. Ask Your Own Family Law Question. This is an urban myth that must be debunked. Brette's Answer: You should talk to your mom about this. How old must a child be to make a request to the judge that she wants to spend less time with her father? Disclaimer - Legal information is not legal advice. She doesn't want to as she is not comfortable with him as he drinks a lot. Each state has different case law that indicates what kind of influence the child can have on the decision at various age ranges. Keep in mind, however, that the preferences of kids and their best interest are not always one and the same thing. Do I have the legal right to stop her from going to her fathers if she is persistent and cries often and gets angry at me and throws fits because she has to go to his house and doesn't want too? If the custodial parent has a GOOD reason why visitation should be terminated (e.g., the other parent is abusing or neglecting the child), that parent can file an action seeking to terminate visitation. My son is 8.5 and has had no contact my ex partner, his father, in 3 years. If his house is a mess, what if he takes her out to eat once a week instead? He doesn't really have to because our son is refusing to be with me. Tell him that maybe you can work together to find some alternate solutions that will work. What age can a child decide to stop visiting Non-Cust. Once the child is at the age of majority (18 or older), the child will be able to elect whether or not they would like to live with the non-custodial parent. To arrange an initial consultation to discuss your rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Amy Humbert, contact Cordell & Cordell. Hence, parental visitations can be scheduled even if a child doesn’t want to be in contact with their father or mother. Until then, if there is court-ordered visitation, it must be followed. 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Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. Jerrad Ahrens licensed in NE and IA only. Can he force visitation if my almost 18 year old doesn't know him? It's also very responsible of you to follow the court order - you don't want to find yourself in contempt of court. At What Age Can a Child Choose Custody in New York? Our daughter was already in counseling at the time, but the counselor has refused to write a letter or appear in court over fears of being sued by my ex. Vida's Question: My 14 year old son has been refusing to live with me and has stayed with his father. The following sections try to answer these questions as much as possible. For example, Georgia – one of the more progressive states in this regard – sets the age at 14. A child so close to majority usually has his preference followed. 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