If you’re a parent going through a divorce, you know that the process can come with a variety of concerns about how it will affect your children. Establishing a sound time-sharing arrangement and accounting for all of the facets of the kids’ lives can be difficult and requires genuine effort on everyone’s part if the plan is to succeed. But what happens when the children’s own wishes come between the plan and how it’s executed?
Children may have any number of reasons for not wanting to visit their other parent. It may take time to adjust to a new arrangement and schedule, and kids may simply be resisting what needs to become the new normal. Being away from a familiar home environment, favorite toys, certain amenities or household features like cable TV or a swimming pool, or even familiar faces and places in the neighborhood, can be perfectly legitimate reasons for a child to want to avoid visiting with the other parent.
How you approach this situation may depend on the age of your child. For younger children, it is important for them to know that the decision isn’t really theirs to make. Explaining that continuing to have a quality relationship with both parents is important to everyone in the family may help the child understand or begin to accept the situation. For older children, especially teenagers, it might be much more difficult to force a visit. Pushing too hard could backfire and result in a deteriorated relationship.
Keep an open line of communication with your former spouse, especially when your children are reluctant to visit. This can help everyone avoid resentment and keep you and the other parent from having to settle the matter of missed visits in court.
When setting up a time-sharing agreement with another parent, seek the guidance of a skilled Florida visitation rights and child custody attorney with the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.