Question: My 11-year old does not want to see her father on the weekends overnight. Do I have to let her go?

Would you let her eat chocolate cake for every meal? I hope not. Would you let her wear her favorite pajamas to school every day for one week straight? Probably not. So, why would you let your children decide when they see their mother or father?

As a family lawyer, I have heard many clients try to rationalize that their children simply don’t want to see or talk to the other parent. Many times, clients believe that their children can – and should – call the shots. They say that little Susie just doesn’t have fun at their spouse’s house. Or that Daddy’s new girlfriend makes Sammy feel uncomfortable and jealous.

No matter what age, as long as your kids are under the jurisdiction of the Court, rules are rules. A possession schedule is made to be followed. Hard feelings, threats to run away, and crying fits at exchanges are no excuse for not sending your child to visit the other parent.

Granted, as the children get older, start driving and have more complicated social lives, there is a reprieve. A 16-year old is hard pressed to spend an entire weekend with any parent … whether the family is divorced or not.

While this is a hard pill to swallow, remember parents set the boundaries. Prioritizing the other’s parent’s access time is paramount to maintaining a healthy relationship with the other parent. And while you may no longer love that person or want to live with them, they deserve to have the access that the court has granted them; you do not have the authority to change that any more than they have the ability to change your access.

NOTE: None of the information in this blog constitutes or is intended to be legal advice. If you would like to know about your individual situation or if need legal counsel, you should consult an attorney regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. When you contact the Law Office of Natalie Gregg, this does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.


Natalie Gregg
The Law Office of Natalie Gregg

PHOTO CREDIT: Header image via Lentini (Creative Commons License).

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