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Divorce And Family Law Attorney

Can your children refuse to spend time with their other parent?

Sharing custody with your ex can be a challenge because you probably don’t enjoy seeing them a few times a week. However you may feel about them personally, you may respect that they continue to show up for your children and take responsibility during their parenting time.

Your children may also have some negative feelings about your current parenting plan. Especially if they are older, they may start refusing to go with the other parent during their scheduled time. Is there an age at which your child’s refusal becomes their responsibility and not yours?

Until your children are 18, you must abide by the order

The parenting plan that you created with your ex or that a judge put together based on your family’s circumstances carries the full weight of the Texas family courts. Both of you have an obligation to do your best to comply with the terms set in the order and to cooperate with one another if you have to make changes.

Not only do you need to abide by the schedule, but you need to openly communicate with one another regarding matters that affect your children. As difficult as it may be, it is your responsibility to tell the children that they must go with the other parent for the scheduled parenting time or visitation.

Even though the child was the one who wanted to cancel, you may be the one who faces consequences if your ex asks for enforcement assistance.

 Canceling parenting time can look like parental alienation

The more frequently your children try to avoid spending time with the other parent, the worse acquiescing to their wishes may look to the courts. Some parents will intentionally prevent their children from seeing the other parent or will contribute to the alienation between parent and child by talking poorly about their ex.