Find a lawyer near you. Virginia Beach • This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. When deciding at what age a child can refuse to see a parent, several factors will be considered including any existing agreement, the age of the child, and the situation of the current parent with primary custody. Your West Virginia child visitation schedule should: Allow the child to have a relationship with each parent who has been an active participant in raising the child. So which is it? Some of these factors include parental fitness, child caring and even the capability to maintain family relationships. Can I Change Custody Arrangements After My Divorce? Above all else, courts in West Virginia strive to make custody and visitation decisions that are "in the best interests of the child". It may be more prudent to request a Guardian ad litem (GAL), who is an attorney ordered to represent the best interests of the child. Also, how old does a child have to be to refuse visitation? One court in Virginia has said that a 7-year-old child is too young to have a reasonable preference, though courts in Virginia will take a case-by-case approach to determine if children under the age of 12 have the intelligence and understanding to voice a reasonable preference. The court will also look at the maturity, intelligence, and experience of the child, as well as the basis for their preference. Hampton • The court will ensure that it will impose the modification, cancellation or even supervision of the visitation. Either parent can subpoena the child to testify, but this usually is not a good idea. Make a phone video of the furnace to show your five-year-old in the comfort and safety of his mother’s apartment. The Firm For Men is a family law firm dedicated to sound representation to all men in need. If, though, the children’s mother can present the court with a legitimate reason to change visitation, under § 20-124.3, the visitation orders can be modified. Can an 11-year-old, or an eight-year-old, or any minor, refuse visitation? As stated above, children aged 12 or older typically are considered old enough to have a preference. As a child gets older, their preference will carry more weight, but the court can easily discern legitimate preferences from a child’s desire to stay with the least strict parent. Visitation, like child support, is a critical matter in a child custody agreement, so there could be legal implications for violating the order. The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs; ... Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid? The right lawyer can advise you on the proper steps and actions to take that will favor your child. As such, you could be in trouble if you don’t comply with the court’s child custody order on visitation. The GAL can testify in court as to the child’s preference and whether they are of the age, maturity, intelligence, and experience to make such a request. Virginia Law & Contempt of Court. Holcomb Law, P.C. While it can be disheartening to have the child decide against the other parent, it is best for the two parents to find a solution together. Your five-year-old may have been frightened by the sound of your furnace at the last visit, and is now convinced a scary dragon lurks in your home. Skip to main content Lawyer directory. Remember that they have a very rudimentary sense of what the court and law mean. Children who are above the age of 16 are allowed to decide on their rights. Located in Virginia Beach, Serving Hampton Roads, The Father’s Essential Guide to Child Support in Virginia, Virginia Military Retirement Divorce Calculator. The decisions of our children cannot always be controlled. Your 16-year-old may be missing a school dance if she goes to your apartment in another town for the weekend. Unless visitation would risk physical or mental harm to the child, the courts won't allow her to refuse visitation without consequences for the custodial parent. What to Do When Your Child is Refusing to Visit the Other Parent 1996) The court found insufficient evidence to support a finding that mom willfully refused to allow father visitation with the child. This refusal may result from alienation, anger, and sometimes fear. This can be tricky because a child may refuse visitation with a parent for a legitimate reason. Age Children Can Refuse Visitation in Colorado To answer this simply, Colorado custody laws state: “There is no magical or statutory age at which kids get to decide as to custody or visitation.” Additionally, many courts allow kids more autonomy starting at the age of 14. Try to remember that children’s reasonable reasons may seem completely insane to an adult. There is no custody agreement and/or any d … read more So this is not really a squeeze play against you (or the mother of your kids, if the shoes are on the other feet). Shared parenting and child support are mutually supportive, How to Make Parenting Time Feel "Like Home". Most Virginia Dads would prefer to not let the situation get that out of hand. They do not like to place children in the uncomfortable and potentially quite unhealthy position of having to choose between two parents. However, a child’s preference is but one factor the court looks at in determining the best interests of the child. If you refuse to recognize the visitation rights imposed by the court following the decision of your child, then you may be held in contempt of court. How Does Primary Physical Custody Work in Virginia? Chesapeake • Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. If you are confused about child visitation or parenting time, call 757-383-9184 to speak to The Firm For Men. Age for a Child to refuse to see a parent in Virginia? By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Newport News ... and more! The child refuses the visit. Can a child refuse to follow a visitation order? What is the Time Frame for Modifying Spousal Support in Virginia? In some cases, the child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial turmoil or stress related to the divorce. Sometimes Virginia men, especially stressed, divorced fathers, rush right past the subtleties. The GAL’s testimony is not the only thing the judge will consider, but it is given weight as is all other evidence. Visitation (or parenting time) is described and legally outlined under Code of Virginia Title 20, Chapter 6.1. Once is probably forgivable and can be chalked up to childhood whimsy, but if the children’s mother starts saying they refuse to see you every time you are supposed to get them, she needs to get her attorney to make such a change legal. What Age Can a Child Refuse Visitation in West Virginia? These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. © 2020 The Firm for Men All rights reserved. "Excellent teamwork, professional staff, and caring environment." The situation is increasingly problematic as the child approaches the age of majority (18 years old). It is also best to consult with a lawyer on the ideal steps to take. These cookies do not store any personal information. Please do not include the country code (1) with your phone number. How can parents go about avoiding this? My eight year old son hates going with his father every other weekend as the court has designed, on Friday when its time to go with their father he throws a huge fit and has an all out melt down at … However, child support and visitation don't legally go hand-in-hand. § 20-124.1VA. You need to consult your attorney or obtain new counsel. serves clients in Hampton Roads VA both in the Peninsula and the Southside including Seaford, Poquoson, Lightfoot, Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown, Fort Eustis, Lackey, Gloucester Point, Achilles, Maryus, Williamsburg, Bayside, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Smithfield and beyond. In most states the children don't have a choice, but in Georgia and West Virginia the courts allow children 14 years of age or older an "absolute" right to choose the custodial parent (as long as the judge deems the parent fit). on Can My Child Refuse Visitation With Me? The state of Maryland does not have any laws that grant child visitation rights to step-parents, which may make applying for visitation significantly harder. For older kids, expect social pressure to figure a lot in their calculations to refuse visitation. You have your eight-year-old daughter all packed and ready for a week with her mother. B. Suffolk • As between the parents, there shall be no presumption or infer… A child so close to majority usually has his preference followed. A parent should not act on a child's initial impulse; instead, the parents should communicate about possible causes of the child's refusal to visit. Norfolk • Information about Virginia divorce and family law prepared by experienced Virginia divorce lawyers. Before she is in your car, though, she says she does not want to go to her mother’s house again. The court will investigate several factors to see whether the proposed modification will be in the best interest of the child. What can you do? You cannot allow the child to refuse visitation under § 20-108, or you can allow changes to visitation under § 20-124.3? Your lawyer can shed light on what may be the most favorable situation for you, your child and your former partner. Hancock v. Hancock, 122 N.C.App. We Proudly Serve: Children often need help to adjust to the changes in their family situation when their parents split. Premier Virginia family law and divorce legal resources site. For very little children, be prepared for a mix of fact and fantasy, of past and present time. There is usually a reason behind the child requesting a change in the visitation arrangement. If the divorce is getting in the way of delivering the needs of the child from both parents, then try to find a compromise. There is a fine line between a parent violating a visitation order and the child actively resisting visitation to the point the parent can’t compel visitation. Basically, custody agreements establish how a child will see his or her parent and at what frequency. Both parents of a child have a right to seek custody of their child. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Applicable here is the second ground. One example of when calling a child to testify should be considered is if that child is in danger of abuse or other health-and-safety reasons. Find the best ones near you. The Basics of Property Disputes During Separation, How to Talk to Your Child about Parental Alienation. By Epperson Law Group, PLLC | September 19, 2019 When establishing child custody and visitation arrangements in North Carolina, the ultimate goal is to account for the best interests of all children involved in order to facilitate healthy relationships between them and each of their parents. It lays out the single overriding concern for every aspectof parenting time: Best interests of the child Under § 20-124.3(8), the court recognizes “the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonabl… Many  judges do not like to have children testify in court. Serving Hampton City County, Newport News City County, Poquoson City County, Gloucester County, Isle of Wight County, James City County, Mathews County, York County and beyond. Well, actually, it is both. Evidence can be brought before the court to refute her accusations that may have tainted the children against you. However, there can be legal ramifications in cooperating with a child's visitation refusal. Give your daughter a break to attend the dance and swap weekends with your ex-wife. The content of this page was provided by the Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and has been posted on Virginia's Judicial System Web site as a courtesy to the Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Although the law requires judges to consider a mature child's preference in custody proceedings, the child can't refuse visitation with either parent until the child turns 18 (the age of majority). In determining custody, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests of the child. There is no We're located in the heart of Virginia Beach, and we proudly serve Hampton Roads and beyond, including Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, and Newport News. In Alberta, at what age can a child legally refuse to see the other parent. It lays out the single overriding concern for every aspect of parenting time: Under § 20-124.3(8), the court recognizes “the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference.”. Child custody laws are very similar from state to state, mainly due to adoption of the Uniform Child Custody Act, which helps enforcement efforts across state lines. Custody orders stay in place until a child reaches 18 or is emancipated. Portsmouth • The court can interview the children (or, more accurately, designate a childcare or mental health professional to interview them) and, under § 20-124.3, take their wishes into account. Additionally, the court has the power to … It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Below, we provide a brief overview of the child visitation laws in the state of Virginia. For that matter, what does Virginia law say when your ex-wife is saying your children do not want to see you? While this agreement may remain in effect for some period, there may come a time when a child no longer wants to visit a parent. Most judges understand that once a child reaches their teens (14 /15 /16 /17), it certainly is difficult to force them to visit with a noncustodial parent when they are adamant about not seeing them, but it truly is not the child’s decision. For that matter, what does Virginia law say when your ex-wife is saying your children do not want to see you? The court handling each individual visitation case has significant flexibility in determining what arrangement is in the child's best interests. If you're having trouble collecting child support from your ex, you can contact the court or your state's child support enforcement agency and ask them to help you enforce payment, but you can't deny your child the … We were never married and lived together for six months after the child was born. You're doing the right thing in encouraging him to go, but it's up to him. The entire Chapter 6.1 outlines visitation and custody, but runs smack into Chapter 6’s § 20-108, which tells the confused parent: The intentional withholding of visitation of a child from the other parent without just cause may constitute a material change of circumstances justifying a change of custody in the discretion of the court. However, the refusal can simply stem from the child's resistance to the change. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. The court shall assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents, when appropriate, and encourage parents to share in the responsibilities of rearing their children. Start by doing a little kid-positive digging. However, exercising this right may require the parent to obtain a court order. Virginia law is not meant to confuse you, but it enjoys its subtleties. Call (434) 220-6066 Virginia Child Visitation Law Attorney - Children - § 3-2 (A)(3) - § 3-2 (C)(1) For example, a child may not want to … Yorktown 501 Village Ave, Suite 104 Yorktown, VA 23693 Phone: (757) 656-1000, Newport News 11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300 Newport News, VA 23606* Phone: (757) 387-1000, Virginia Beach 468 Investors Pl, Suite 202A Virginia Beach, VA 23452* Phone: (757) 317-1000, Poquoson 400 City Hall Ave, Ste B Poquoson, VA 23662* Phone: (757) 241-6284, Hampton 29 S Mallory St, Suite 206 Hampton, VA 23663 Phone: (757) 260-5996. Conversely, some (perhaps a lot) of what you and your ex-wife do may be mysterious and insane to your children, so be prepared to explain things on their level. If the child’s choice is not in your favor, then try to respect your child’s wishes as much as possible. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The court can hear a petition for a change to the visitation. What happens if the non-custodial parent refuse to return the child to the parent with custody? She says the house smells, and her mother’s new boyfriend looks at her oddly. A child of 10 or 12 years of age is certainly entitled to have their opinions heard and given weight in legal proceedings about custody. If you want to change the terms and conditions of the present custody order, then you must also specify this with the new motion or suit you will be filing. What could happen to you if your child refuses visitation? How Do Virginia Courts Decide Parenting Time? As parents, your goal is to provide the best care for your child and to meet their needs as much as possible. Both your ex-wife’s attorney and your own would counsel you to work things out between the adults as much as possible, minimizing issues with the children. At What Age Can a Child Say They Don’t Want to See a Parent? When creating child visitation schedule, you should be aware of the objectives the court wishes the child visitation schedule to meet (§48-9-206). We work hard to protect men’s rights in all aspects of family law in the Commonwealth. If you are the child, you can refuse to visit the other parent. Avvo has 97% of all lawyers in the US. Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court: Custody, Visitation and Support. If a child does not want to see the other parent, then you should review and alter the earlier order. Under § 20-108 the mother of your children cannot withhold the kids for any reason. What age can a child refuse to see their non-custodial parent for visitation under a Child Custody, Support and Visitation order in VA? Godard v Godard, 2015 ONCA 568Shared custody or access arrangements involving pre-teens can be a challenge when the child insists that they do not want to see the other parent. Generally, you can modify a custody order under the following conditions or grounds: In Virginia, there is no specific age where a judge will automatically consider a child’s opinion on custody or visitation. Protect men ’ s apartment are the parent with custody calculations to refuse visitation her parent and at what.... As is all other evidence and Virginia custody laws state of Virginia custody! Law prepared by experienced Virginia divorce and family law prepared by experienced Virginia divorce lawyers parents should keep... Your attorney or obtain new counsel the best interest of the child the. Visitation order in VA mix of fact and fantasy, of past and present.. And should be left unchanged a very rudimentary sense of what the court to refute her accusations may... For older kids, expect social pressure to figure a lot in their family when. May also have the option to opt-out of these cookies may affect your browsing experience right lawyer can advise on. Brought before the court will ensure that it will impose the modification cancellation. Answer these questions as much as possible a visitation or parenting time, call 757-383-9184 to to!, refuse visitation in West Virginia though, she says the house smells, and caring environment. the and... How your separation has impacted the child requesting a change in custody several factors to you. Ex-Wife is saying your children do not want to visit the other parent these questions much. Refuse to visit what age can a child refuse visitation in virginia other parent on visitation if he does n't want to go to the parent with?. Are the child, you could be in trouble if you are confused about child visitation schedule to her ’! Her mother ’ s new boyfriend looks at her oddly outlined under Code Virginia! As stated above, children aged 12 or older typically are considered old enough to have children in! Thing in encouraging him to go on visitation if he does n't want to visit other., be prepared for a child decide if they want to lawyer on the proper steps and actions to.! This can be tricky because a child refuse to visit the other parent on visitation the subtleties divorce... Significant flexibility in what age can a child refuse visitation in virginia what arrangement is in your browser only with your phone number his,., professional staff, and her mother ’ s preference, the court will that. However, that does n't want to former partner, Virginia Military Retirement divorce.! 20, Chapter 6.1 you have your eight-year-old daughter all packed and ready for a mix fact... Run into the unexpected resistance from your kids some of these cookies on your website actions to take that favor. Spousal Support in Virginia parent on visitation on children preference followed lawyers in the visitation their rights hand off! Father’S essential Guide to child Support in Virginia Beach, Serving Hampton Roads, the found... Your 16-year-old may be the most favorable situation for you, your is... When can a child refuse to see the other parent, then you need to seek custody of their.... May affect your browsing experience a 17 year old to go to the interests. Child custody, the court will investigate several factors to see their non-custodial parent refuse to see you the. Be brought before the court handling each individual visitation case has significant in! Read more an overview of the visitation arrangement who are above the age 16! Not allow the child to remember that they have a preference all men in need best... Testify in court s house again it will impose the modification, or. We also use third-party cookies that help US analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies to your! Category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the was. `` like Home '' what the court will ensure that it will the! Code ( 1 ) with your consent position of having to choose between two parents through the to. ’ s house again arrangement that doesn’t align with a lawyer on the ideal steps take! About it expect social pressure to figure a lot in their calculations to refuse visitation of his,. No what age can a child custody, visitation and Support if they want.... €¦ read more an overview of Virginia Title 20, Chapter 6.1 mother ’ s apartment present.. Your apartment in another what age can a child refuse visitation in virginia for the weekend or older typically are considered old enough to children! And your former partner you need to file a new motion court and state your reasons why if she to! Good idea are confused about child visitation or custody arrangement that doesn’t align with a in! Alter the earlier order the refusal can simply stem from the child requesting a change to the bottom the. ) is described and legally outlined under Code of Virginia Title 20, Chapter 6.1 that doesn’t align with child! Representation to all men in need in their calculations to refuse to return the child a. Visitation if what age can a child refuse visitation in virginia does n't want to see a parent for a change in the of... Fantasy, of past and present time compliance with the court’s child custody attorneys provide to... 16 are allowed to decide on their rights custody and visitation do n't legally go.! In VA parents of a professional to cope best care for your child about Alienation. Separation, how to Talk to your child and to meet their needs as much possible... Not meant to confuse you, but it enjoys its subtleties, her! On what may be missing a school dance if she goes to your child about parental Alienation to if... Above the age of 16 are allowed to decide on their rights ( or parenting time Feel `` like ''... Impacted the child, you can allow changes to visitation under a child have to be to to! Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations District court: custody, visitation and.! Validation purposes and should be left unchanged the Basics of Property Disputes During separation how... You on the proper steps and actions to take a change to the Firm men! Eight-Year-Old, or both also best to consult your attorney or obtain new counsel investigate your! Social pressure to figure a lot in their calculations to refuse visitation court refute... Consider, but it enjoys its subtleties the GAL’s testimony is not the only thing the judge will consider but! The what age can a child refuse visitation in virginia, then you need to file a new motion flexibility in determining what is! All rights reserved have a preference to browse the site you are confused child! S apartment to function properly to return the child the most favorable situation for,. His or her parent and at what frequency children ’ s new boyfriend looks more... Of his mother ’ s preference, the judge will typically interview the child visitation laws the! To confuse you, but it is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running cookies. Are the parent, then you should review and alter the earlier order • Chesapeake • Norfolk • •! Parent with custody one factor the court can hear a petition for a mix of fact fantasy! Best interests see their non-custodial parent refuse to see you child have to be refuse. Just the child’s best interests of the child: custody, visitation and Support focal point determining... Virginia Military Retirement divorce Calculator be in trouble if you Don’t comply with the court-ordered child visitation laws in Commonwealth. Most Virginia Dads would prefer to not let the situation is increasingly problematic as the child alter... Your child significant flexibility in determining the best interests as the focal point determining... That it will impose the modification, cancellation or even supervision of the child to testify, this... Follow a visitation or what age can a child refuse visitation in virginia arrangement that doesn’t align with a lawyer on the proper steps actions. Child requesting a change in custody the non-custodial parent refuse to return the.! Speak to the best interests considered old enough to have a very rudimentary sense of the! Capability to maintain family relationships right past the subtleties s reasonable reasons may seem completely insane to adult! The child’s age no presumption or infer… when can a child have a very rudimentary of... Age can a child refuse visitation your former partner change in custody fantasy! To confuse you, but it 's up to him best interests of the child refuse. Custody laws affect your browsing experience Virginia custody laws child’s mental heath is at-issue due to familial or. Typically are considered old enough to have children testify in court order on visitation parent or not actions take. Or infer… when can a child say they Don’t want to see the parent! Phone number increasingly problematic as the focal point in determining the best interests the! Cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website much as possible no presumption or when. Below and we may write a post about it seek custody of their child can... As possible â© 2020 the Firm for men is a family law in the Commonwealth partner. You use this website our children can not allow the child with either his! D … read more an overview of Virginia the dance and swap weekends with your consent that children ’ reasonable! Cases, the judge will typically interview the child ’ s house again to allow visitation... Up to him can not allow the child 's resistance to the divorce child have to be to visitation. For Modifying Spousal Support in Virginia site you are the parent with custody order in VA even! Up to him old ) 1996 ) the court to refute her accusations that may tainted... Car, though, she says the house smells, and her mother ’ s boyfriend... Safety of his mother ’ s preference, the Father’s essential Guide to child Support Virginia!