What happens if a child avoids visitation withone parent and the otherparent does not enforce the order?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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What happens if a child avoids visitation withone parent and the otherparent does not enforce the order?

I have a divorce in place governed by the county. I have 1 child who intentionally disappears temporarily when he is supposed to come with me for visitation. He is 12 years old. His mother says there is nothing that she can do and suggests that I figure out a way to make him “want” to come to visitation. This is difficult because when he is at his mother’s he can do pretty much whatever he wants and she is frequently absent from the house. Is there a typical way to resolve this type of problem?

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Family Law, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Each state handles this matter differently.  And how far the courts and the county will go in forcing him remains to be seen.  But I really get the feeling that your ex is not really promoting the visitation either.  I have heard of cases where fathers have gone to court and requested that the ex wife actually drop the child off in a neutral place, like a police station, in order to insure that the child is actually around.  Then it makes it an issue for the ex spouse if the child does not show up.  THEY are in contempt of the court order, not the child.  Your ex has to enforce the agreement as well.  Seems he is getting away with a lot.  And I think that you may need to discuss the matter with your attorney in detail.  Good luck.

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