What if your child refuses to visit with you after your divorce?

When you emerged from divorce with child custody and parenting time (visitation) orders, you probably felt relieved that you would not lose contact with your child. Now, they won’t even talk to you, much less agree to come to your home for visitation time.

While this is a heartbreaking scenario, it is not all that rare. Children react unpredictably when their parents get a divorce, and some handle it worse than others. Let’s take an honest look at some possible options when children refuse to visit a parent.

Force them into visitation

No parent wants to force their child into something they don’t want to do but don’t forget about that court order. Technically, it requires both parents to comply to avoid violating these binding orders. Forcing a child into visitation can keep you out of trouble, but it might not be best for the child.

Investigate the situation

You probably want to know why your child is resisting contact and if you can change something about yourself or your home to improve the situation. Try speaking patiently with your child and your co-parent about the matter. It might turn out to be something you can resolve together.

Modify your custody and visitation orders

Fortunately, divorced parents have options when their child custody orders are not functioning. Under California law, you may ask the court to change your court orders if you have a good reason. Perhaps your child will respond more favorably to a change of schedule.

Children resist visitation time for many reasons, including parental influence and because they find it hard to process the end of their parent’s marriage. Be patient with your kids to ease the transition but remember to protect your parenting rights as you continue seeking a remedy.