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Family Law Blog

Do I Have to Force My Child to Visit My Ex?

Published: Oct 04, 2020 in Child Custody
Do I have to force my child to visit my ex?

Written by Anthony Piccirilli

The law presumes that it is best for a child to have a relationship with both parents. Thus, you should do your best to foster a relationship between your child and your ex.

If you are concerned about the safety of your child at your ex’s house or if you want to change your child custody arrangement, you’ll need help. It’s likely your ex will fight back. Call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC at (412) 471-5100 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

What If My Child Doesn’t Want to See My Ex?

Many children have strong opinions about their parents. They may have picked up on the fact that one parent made the other one sad or arguments may have greatly affected the child. In any event, if your child refuses to see your ex, you may wonder what you should do.

There is a lot you can do to prevent this situation. Don’t speak poorly of your ex in front of your child and do your best not to argue with them in front of your child. If you work with an attorney, many of your disputes can be settled through negotiations and legal agreements, including child support, visitation, and more.

However, if your child is past prevention and they are refusing to go see their other parent, and there is a child visitation order in place, you should do your best to comply with that order. If you allow your child to stay with you, you may be held in contempt by the court for failing to comply with an order.

You should calmly speak with your child about their concerns and let them know they are safe with the other parent. Reassure them that they will be coming back to your house soon. If there are truly any concerns about safety, you should seek intervention from CPS or the court.

What If It’s Been a Long Time Since My Child Has Seen My Ex?

If your child is reluctant to visit with their other parent because they haven’t seen them in a long time, you should do your best to reassure them if it is safe. If you feel there may be some danger involved with seeing the other parent, you should take the matter to an child custody attorney or revisit your visitation order. If it has been a long time since they have seen your child, the court may order limited visitation or partial custody rights. A restricted schedule may be used in some situations.

What If My Ex Doesn’t Want to See Our Child?

No one can force your ex to be a parent if they don’t want to be, as sad as that situation is. The court can enforce child support, but it will not force an adult to exercise visitation with their child if they refuse or don’t want to.

If your ex does not use their visitation rights for a long period of time, you might consider asking the court to reduce or terminate visitation rights.

What If My Ex Doesn’t Pay Child Support?

The duty to pay child support and visitation are not linked. They are separate responsibilities and rights. That means, even if your ex does not pay child support, they have a right to see their child.

Work With a Child Visitation Attorney to Avoid Trouble With the Court

You don’t want to be the one in trouble with the court if your child doesn’t go visit their other parent. If there are concerns about safety or mental wellbeing, you should seek limited or restricted visitation; however, if there are no concerns, you should do whatever is possible to help your child feel comfortable visiting their other parent.

If a new child custody and visitation order is needed, we can also help you with that. Call us today at (412) 471-5100 or use our online contact form.