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What To Do When Your Child Refuses to Stick To The Visitation Schedule

orange county child custody attorneys; The Maggio Law FirmOne of the most stressful issues that the custodial parents regularly face is when a child refuses to follow the visitation schedule mentioned in the final decree of divorce and meet either parent. Such a situation typically stems out of several influential factors such as parental alienation, resentment, fear or anger. The situation can really become difficult when the child is approaching the age of turning a major. It goes without saying that the instructions and orders mentioned in the final decree of divorce are law enforceable and command stringent legal action if the court finds any of the involved parties refusing to follow them. So how do you avoid such a situation and make your child follow the visitation schedule?

Try to maintain continuity with the other parent

It is easier for a child to handle the visitation and custody arrangements when both his/her parents act on a unified front with him/her. For example, a child might refuse to visit his/her father just because he takes him/her to the movies, which is something the mommy doesn’t approve of. While it might be entertaining for the child, he/she finds it easier to give up on the fun rather than come back home to face an angry and upset mother. It is for this reason, you must learn to establish continuity with the other parent by respecting his or her ways of parenting that might be in tandem with his/her personal life preferences. 

Keep track of the visitation schedule

The custodial parent must make it a point to maintain a documentation of how he or she attempted to adhere to the visitation schedule. Keep a record of the dates and times of instances when your child refused visitation and also the circumstances in which he/she took such a stand. You must make it a point to document your attempts of explaining the ramifications of not following the schedule to the older children. 

Consult a child psychologist

Since a majority of cases where children refuse to visit a parent stem out of emotional stress or feelings of resentment, it is advisable to take the help of a child psychologist to understand your little one’s thought process. Another major cause of such refusals is some kind of fear in visiting or staying with a parent. A doctor can be your best aid in gauging your child’s emotional condition and suggesting ways of improving it.

The basic ideas behind getting your child to adhere to his/her visitation schedule are to avoid any legal issues from cropping up and also to ensure his/her healthy upbringing.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

divorce_attorneyGerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.

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