What Happens When a Child Refuses to Obey a San Diego Child Visitation Order
This is the fourth post in my series on child custody issues which San Diego parents face during the summer months. My last discussion dealt with resolving disputes over which school a child will attend during the coming year. This article deals with an issue which sometimes occurs – when a child refuses to cooperate with the California Court’s visitation Order.
This is an issue that is dealt with differently depending on the age of the child. Understanding how San Diego courts deal with children of different ages is important in understanding how your case will proceed.
The age of a child impacts how the San Diego Family Court will address a custody case where a child refuses to follow the visitation order
The older a child is, then the more likely the child will be given discretion as to whether or not the visitation will occur. The wishes of a child are considered when the Court sets an initial visitation order. However, if the child is too young to make an intelligent decision then those wishes will be disregarded. As the child becomes older then the Court will give increasing weight to the child’s desires. By the time children reach their teenage years they may even be given discretion as to whether or not the visitation occurs. This discretion may even be written into the Court’s visitation order.
A child refusing to follow the visitation order may lead to California Courts changing your child custody arrangement
The relationship between a parent and child is one factor the Court considers when making child custody determinations. The stronger the bond between the parent and child then the more visitation/custodial time a parent is likely to receive. If a child, for a prolonged period of time, refuses to follow the Court’s visitation schedule then it demonstrates that the schedule may not accurately reflect what is in the child’s best interests. In such circumstances the Court may be willing to change the custodial arrangement.
The first step in changing child custody is to file a Motion with the Court. In this Motion (the process by which you request something) you would demonstrate all facts which support a change of custody, including the deteriorating relationship between a parent and child. The Court at that point may change the custodial arrangement or, depending on the circumstances, may order a trial on the matter. It can be highly problematic for several reasons if your child is refusing to follow their visitation requirements with the other parent. You need an Order that accurately reflects your situation. Contact a San Diego, California child custody lawyer today if you are facing this situation.