Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

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Latest post Wed, Mar 29 2006 7:57 PM by Hearst86. 9 replies.
  • Tue, Mar 28 2006 4:11 PM

    Question [=?] Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    My husband's ex-wife has been trying to tell us and my stepson that at 11 years old he can decide if he wants to go fo visitation with his dad. This despite the fact that we have a court order stating my husband gets his son for 8 wks in the summer, and my husband has notified her according to the provisions of the court order of the date and time he intends to pick him up. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this? Also this is our sixth year of dealing with this. Every time my husband tries to get his son for parenting time there is some argument or fight where she tries to keep the visitation from happening or to delay it, and that is not an exaggeration, every single time. Is there any hope my husband could get primary custody based on her interference with this?
  • Tue, Mar 28 2006 4:18 PM In reply to

    • CPof1
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jul 18 2001
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old? NO

    Children don't get to decide anything. The judge "may or may not" listen to input from a child of a certain age - depending on the circumstances, but no, the child DOES NOT get to decide. It's up to the judge and the court, based on information from both the NCP and the CP.
  • Tue, Mar 28 2006 5:38 PM In reply to

    re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    To address your second question, obtaining custody due to interference with parenting time is as good of a reason as any. Whether he gets custody will depend on all the facts of the case and should be discussed with an attorney.
    You said she has tried to interfere with summer visits for 6 years. Has she actually succeeded in interfering with them?
  • Tue, Mar 28 2006 6:10 PM In reply to

    re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    Yes. We've had to get an emergency order from the court for one spring break because she would not release him because she didn't want to pay for his return trip, which the order says she has to. We've missed a Christmas vacation because she refused to put him on the airplane....etc.....In other words yes.
  • Tue, Mar 28 2006 6:11 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    An 11 year old child cannot decide if they want to go with dad if there is a court order.

    So mom has been denying dad his visitation since their son was 5 years old? Interfering with parental rights is a serious issue to the court. Part of being the CP is encouraging a positive and consistent relationship with the NCP.

    Dad can file contempt against mom and ask for a change in the custody order. Part of what the court looks at is which parent will be more likely to folllow a court ordered visitation schedule. From what you say, mom has not done so.

    If summer visitation is what you are concerned about I would consult an attorney right away. It could take several weeks to get a court date.

    I do wonder why it has taken 6 years for dad to decide to do something about this.

  • Wed, Mar 29 2006 1:04 PM In reply to

    Note [#=#] re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    I have had similar problems. You might want to go back to court and get a Parenting Coordinator. Since the PC is court appointed the sessions can be admissible in court and therefore can give you some back-up in case it happens again. This helped me in getting visitation scheduled for my son. Also, any good PC will tell the other parent that telling a child that he/she has a choice in visitation is absolutely out of the question.
  • Wed, Mar 29 2006 5:15 PM In reply to

    Ok [+0+] re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    Thank you! I didn't even know those existed. I will definitely check into it.
  • Wed, Mar 29 2006 7:57 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    Not every poster may be from your state. But, you can certainly check around the court house and see if there is some "more informal" process that you might utilize to develop a parenting plan, visitation, etc.
  • Thu, Mar 30 2006 10:17 AM In reply to

    re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    It sounds to me like Dad has been in court several times for this issue. Unfortunately there is not the same legal enforcement of visitation as there is in making the NCP pay child support.
  • Thu, Mar 30 2006 10:25 AM In reply to

    re: Child decides visitation at 11 years old?

    We have had similar circumstances since my stepson was 4. Visitation was totally denied beginning at 11. End result....the child supposedly now refuses to visit and now at age 13 has total contempt for his Dad. The court did not find CP in contempt. Does that make sense?
    Instead ordered counseling, etc, which did no good as Dad was denied access by CP/stepson to counseling sessions.

    End result. When a CP has money enough and is determined enough to prevent Dad from seeing child, Dad has a long battle to wage and the outlook is not good.

    That is just our experience. I have not heard of much success against denial of visitation and eventual alienation of the child, especially when the child gets past age 11 or so.

    Good Luck in your quest for your son. I hope it turns out okay.
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