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Do I Have To Force My Child To Visit The Non-Custodial Parent?

Legally, the answer may be “yes”. If there is a Court Order requiring “visitation” or “parenting time”, then, you are required to follow the Court’s Order.

However, a parent with a young child versus a parent with a teenager are two very different scenarios. In virtually all situations, a young child will be required to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent. In contrast, a teenager who is over the age of 16 years of age, may not be “forced” to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent.

Although, you are required to follow a Court’s Order, there is also a “reasonableness” and common-sense factor. In other words, there could be an overriding situation, where you do not need to physically deliver the child to the other parent.

For example, if a child is too ill or too sick to visit, then you could legitimately have a valid reason to keep the child at your home. However, the child better be “truly sick”, as the other parent could order a “well check”, by calling the police to see if the child is ill or too sick to visit.

If a child is too ill or sick to visit, or a teenager is refusing to visit the other parent, it is important that you communicate the situation in a timely matter with the other parent. This will make the courts view you in a more positive light, than just not delivering the child at all. It may also help to document each instance of your child’s refusal, and the circumstances surrounding the event.

If your teenager doesn’t want to have parenting time with the other parent, you should try to determine the reasons why. It should not just be because they are “bored”. However, if there is a seriously negative situation at the other parent’s home – i.e. physical abuse – then you should take action in court immediately. You should not just simply stop visitation.

It is important to note that Courts want both parents to be involved in their children’s life. If you cut-off all visitation with the other parent, there could be serious negative consequences to you.  For example, the Court could determine that you are no longer eligible for child support.

If you have questions regarding custody and are thinking of seeking legal action, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  Call us at 631-239-1702 or email David Badanes, Esq. at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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