The bond between a parent and child is strong. But when that bond is broken or damaged, it can be difficult for children to feel safe when with the parent. In some cases, a child will refuse visitation as a result of the bond being damaged. When it comes to visitation for a non-custodial parent, it’s difficult to know how to handle this situation. The custodial parent may or may not be cooperative in trying to facilitate visitation, and if a child gets upset at the prospect of visiting the non-custodial parent, it can be hard for that parent to exercise his or her right to parenting time.
A good first step in getting past a child refusing visitation is to make sure you have legally enforceable parenting time. The custodial parent cannot interfere with parenting time (i.e. visitation), meaning he or she cannot refuse to let the non-custodial parent see the child. If the custodial parent is interfering with court-ordered parenting time without good reason, the non-custodial parent can take legal action. If the custodial parent has good cause, the custodial parent must take action to restrict the non-custodial parent’s contact with the child. In these situations, the non-custodial parent may still be allowed to have limited, supervised parenting time with the child.
You may also need to consider reunification therapy. A child might refuse visitation when he or she has been alienated from the non-custodial parent. Parental alienation should be taken very seriously and combatted with specialized therapy when at all possible. Reunification therapy often involves the child and both parents, so this is something that the custodial parent should cooperate with.
Speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare and child custody attorney if you have concerns about visitation. Non-custodial parents have a right to appropriate parenting time unless it is not in the best interests of the child. If your child is refusing visitation because he or she does not feel safe when with the other parent, you should take steps to ensure your child is protected at all times. If you are the non-custodial parent, you should take steps to protect your rights to parenting time. An attorney can help you do this.
Do you have questions about parenting time? Williams Law Group, LLC can help you make sure the non-custodial parent has appropriate parenting time and that your child’s best interests are protected at all times. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8404, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.