Our leading Vancouver Child Parenting And Contact Lawyers help reduce parenting time conflict and help you resolve your child parenting disputes successfully. If that does not work, our leading Vancouver Child Parenting And Contact Lawyers will work with you to create powerful arguments to help you and your children obtain the best future for all of you.
You spent a long time in mediation negotiating and getting your parenting time and child custody order worked out so that both you and your ex spouse were satisfied with it. Or maybe you fought a long custody battle that ended in a trial where the judge had to decide for the two of you. In either scenario, what happens if a child refuses to see the other parent? Do they have to be forced? What are the legal options? Consequences? At what age can the child choose? Tal Wolf, one of our top senior Vancouver family lawyer explains the law.
Vancouver Child Parenting And Contact Lawyers 604 602 9000
Most parents think that once a child is teenager, they can simply “pick a parent”. This is not how the law works, and not necessarily a healthy approach to begin with. Contact MacLean Family Law today 604 602 9000 to set up a personal consultation with one of our experienced Vancouver child custody and child parenting time lawyers, so that we can guide you through the intricate steps and considerations taken into account by Courts when it comes to reassessing parenting arrangements.
Although a child may not want to visit the other parent, child contact is not optional for the child after a decision has been made. The judge ordered the visitation, expecting their orders to be followed. If you are the primary residential parent, you are held responsible for complying with the child parenting time and contact order. The judge will not let you off the hook because your child does not want to follow the orders. There are proper ways for a child’s legitimate wishes to be heard. Children deserve to be protected and to grow up into healthy and productive adults.
Vancouver Child Parenting And Contact Lawyers -What if My Child Refuses to Go?
Courts have taken differing views on whether the parent with primary residence with the child can be held in contempt when the child refuses to go. Did you have the child ready? Where they dressed and walked out to the exchange place? These expectations seem reasonable enough. But are you obligated to “drag” the child out to the other parent’s car, kicking and screaming?
If a child refuses to visit the other parent, this can be problematic for both parents. This refusal disrupts the child parenting time (for guardians) and child contact (for non -guardians) that both parents have adjusted and worked their lives around. Understandably, the other parent may be hurt or upset. They may even suspect the other parent of manipulating their child or purposely causing parental alienation. This is why it’s so important, as the primary parent, to put yourself in the shoes of the other parent and remember the Golden Rule: What efforts would you want or need to see, if the shoe were on the other foot, in order to be satisfied that no “fault” rests with the primary parent for the child’s refusal? What actions would you want to see by the other parent, or what communications would you want to receive, to be persuaded that this is being treated as a problem of the child, with a mutual objective on both parents’ part to fix it collaboratively?
Did you know that the lawyers at MacLean Law’s Vancouver, West Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria and Surrey offices 604 602 9000 include some of the most experienced and highly rated child parenting time, child custody and parenting advocates in British Columbia? Call us today to schedule a consult.
Remember You’re the Adult 604 602 9000
Do you let your child skip school whenever they want? Are they allowed to stay up all night playing games on their phone? Can they eat junk food and drink soda whenever they like? Does your child only do their homework when they want to? Are they allowed to skip out on visits to see Grandma or other extended family?
Of course not, because as a parent, you sometimes have to make your children do things that they don’t necessarily want to do. This is how children learn responsibility and that what they want can’t always come first. Divorced parents often feel guilty, making them fall into the trap of giving in too quickly to their children. While it’s important to listen to children and their opinions, you need to remember your child is not in charge. You are. Your child needs to know that both parents are an essential part of their life. They don’t get to choose when and if visitation happens. You can tell your child that part of having divorced parents is spending time with each one of them. This means that it’s unfair to your ex or child—although they may not see it that way—if you don’t make them go along with the visitation order.
Is your Own Behavior Part of the Problem? 604 602 9000
Is your behaviour making your child feel like they have to choose sides? If your child refuses to go to the other parent, this may signify that the child is reacting to something you are doing.
They may be trying to avoid upsetting you or being made to feel guilty for spending time with their other parent. Some questions you need to ask yourself include:
- Are you bad-mouthing the other parent or allowing other people to do so in front of your children or where they can hear you?
- Do you get upset when your children get ready to go for their visitation?
- Do you interrogate your children about your ex after they get home from their parenting time with your ex?
- Do you do things to make them feel guilty for seeing the other parent?
- Do you badmouth your child’s step-siblings or step-parent?
These types of behaviours can place your child in an awkward position, and it is wrong for you to put them there. You may also be harming your child by saying nasty things about your ex or using your child as a messenger to your ex. Remember, this person is your child’s other parent, and if the child hears you speaking poorly about their other parent, they may wonder how you feel about them as well.
Vancouver Child Parenting And Contact Lawyers
If you need to vent about your ex, you do not need to do it in front of your child. Rather, you can go to a friend, a divorce support group, other family members, or a counsellor. Don’t trouble your child with the anger or resentment you have towards their other parent.
Or, if it’s time to make a change to the child parenting time schedule, possibly through legal action, call MacLean Family Law’s Vancouver Child Parenting And Contact Lawyers today 1-877-602-9900 to:
- discuss your immediate options,
- a long-term action plan,
- and how we can make the best possible strategy in support of your child’s best interests for the next phase of their growing lives.