After a child custody case in Michigan, your child might not like the way the court has determined custody or parenting time specifically. As a result, your child might try to refuse visitation and might argue or even throw a tantrum if you try to force them to adhere to the parenting time arrangement set by the Michigan court. Generally speaking, any minor child cannot refuse visitation and cannot refuse to comply with the arrangements set forth for parenting time by a Michigan court. Indeed, it is often the role of the primary custodial parent to ensure that the child does comply with visitation or parenting time, yet this can be quite complicated if your child is an older teenager. What should you do if your child is refusing visitation? Our Michigan child custody lawyers have some tips for you to consider.
Find Out Why Your Child is Refusing Visitation
First, you should find out why your child is refusing visitation. If there are any issues concerning child abuse or neglect, or family violence, you can seek help from a custody attorney to petition the court immediately for supervised visitation or other changes.
Consider the Possibility of a Modification
If a change in circumstances has occurred, it may be possible to seek a modification. In addition to serious issues concerning a child’s health or safety with one of the parents, a court can modify an existing child custody order for proper cause shown or when a change in circumstances occurs, as long as the modification is in the best interests of the child. When a child gets older and has a preference for custody, that child’s preference can be considered as one of the best interests factors under Michigan law. Specifically, the statute lists the following as the “best interest of the child” factor:
“The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.”
Parents Must Comply With the Child Custody and Parenting Time Order
Ultimately, it is critical for both parents to know that their child cannot make a decision about whether to comply with the visitation or parenting time arrangement. The parents have a legal duty to comply with the child custody order from the court. As a result, if the child is refusing to spend time with the parent who has parenting time, the primary custodial parent could be legally accountable for a violation of the child custody order. If you are in a difficult situation, you should seek help from an attorney.
Contact a Michigan Child Custody Attorney
If you have concerns about your child’s well-being or safety with the other parent, or if your child is refusing visitation or parenting time solely because of their personal preference, it is important to speak with a Michigan child custody attorney to ensure that you remain in compliance with the child custody and visitation order, and to find out about any options that may be available. Depending upon the circumstances, it may be possible to modify an existing child custody and visitation arrangement. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information about how our firm can assist you.