If a child does not wish to visit the non-custodial parent, at what age do they have the right to decline visitation?

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If a child does not wish to visit the non-custodial parent, at what age do they have the right to decline visitation?

My child suffers from severe depression and has not been abused by the father but she is legally required to visit him for 8 weeks during the summer. However, he is only there for at most 12 days out of those 8 weeks and during the remaining time she stays with his mother and uncle. Her grandmother has been verbally abusive and the uncle isn’t too bad compared to the grandmother but regardless. This 8 weeks agreement was part of the divorce agreement.

Asked on May 6, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek legal help to modify the agreement.  She can not just decide not to visit until she is 18 but the court can order the visitiation agreement altered "in the best interests of the child."  You are going to have to prove that she will not have the time with him that the agreement states on its face, that the grandmother offers a bad environment, etc.  Has she seen a therapist that can testify as to the depression?  If she is old enough she can testify but she needs to be specific about the reasons and they have to be "good" reasons not like I can't watch TV all the time.  Good luck.


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