Child’s Wishes vs Court’s Orders
Video Transcript: My child doesn’t want to go with the other parent during their visitation. Do I still have to make them go? Hi, my name is Jason Sorenson. I’m an Oklahoma attorney here at Wirth Law Office and today we’re going to be talking about that.
So let’s say that you and the other parent have a custody arrangement where the other parent gets to pick up the child for their weekend visitation. And your child expresses to you that they have no interest in going with the other parent, that they don’t want to go. Do you still have to let them go? Do you still have to make the child go? Will it be a violation on your part if you don’t?
Well, that’s a complicated question. It really comes down to not interfering with the other parent’s visitation rights. So if the other parent wants to come pick up their child, you can’t impede them from doing so. So you can’t send the kid off to grandma’s or to their friends to have the child not be available. You also can’t ignore the phone call or ignore the doorbell when they come by to pick up the child. And you can’t not take the child to the gas station or the McDonald’s or whatever meeting spot you have.
So you still have to make the child available for the other parent to exercise their visitation rights. And by not doing so, a court could view that as you interfering with the other parent’s rights. That being said, let’s say the other parent comes to pick up the child and the child refuses to go with them. At that point, do you have to pick up the child and physically put them in the other parent’s truck? Well that part, courts may be a little more reluctant to make you do that.
That responsibility kind of falls on the other parent to do so. It’s their job to get the child into the car at that point because you’ve done your part of providing access to that parent. So at that point, the other parent is going to have to decide if they want to exercise that right of maybe picking up a screaming five-year-old and put them in the back of their truck, or if that’s going to do more harm to their relationship that may already be struggling if the child doesn’t want to go with them. But this is just general information.
If you want more specific information about your case in particular, you can contact us at makelaweasy.com to speak with a Tulsa child visitation lawyer.