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Visitation Refusal

Dallas Child Custody Attorneys Helping Parents Protect Their Rights

Shared custody situations can be emotionally challenging for both parents and children, and it is not uncommon for a child to prefer spending time with one parent over the other. Parties involved in custody cases must comply with court orders defining custody rights, however, regardless of whether they agree with the terms of the orders. Notably, this obligation extends not only to parents but also to the children the order pertains to, and parties impacted by their child’s visitation refusal have the right to seek recourse. If you need assistance dealing with your child’s refusal to comply with a custody order or any other custody issue, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At McClure Law Group, our seasoned Dallas child custody lawyers have ample experience handling complicated disputes, and if we represent you, we will fight to help you seek a fair outcome.

Visitation Refusal in Texas Child Custody Cases

Texas family courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making decisions related to custody and visitation. The Texas Family Code (the Code) explicitly articulates this principle. Generally, the court will find that it is in a child’s best interest to foster a meaningful relationship with both parents and will issue a standard possession order that dictates parents may have possession of the child whenever they both agree. If parents cannot come to an agreement regarding possession, the non-custodial parent has the right to possession at the times set forth in the Code.

Visitation refusal occurs when a child, rather than a parent, declines to abide by a court-imposed custody order. A child’s reasons for visitation refusal may include difficulty adjusting to changes in the non-custodial parent’s living situation or relationship status, disagreements with the non-custodial parent, or extracurricular activities. In some instances, visitation refusal is the result of the child adopting the custodial parent’s negative beliefs about the non-custodial parent, which may constitute parental alienation.

Dealing With Visitation Refusal

It is important to note that in Texas, compliance with visitation orders is non-negotiable; in other words, children do not have the right to refuse to comply with such orders. When a child refuses to visit one parent, both parents face challenges. The non-custodial parent may feel hurt or suspect manipulation, while the managing conservator may question the well-being of the child at the other parent's home. In Texas, custodial parents or managing conservators are held responsible for ensuring their child complies with the established custody arrangement, irrespective of a child's reluctance to adhere to an order. Some Texas courts have held that custodial parents can be held in passive contempt when a child refuses to go with the non-custodial parent despite the custodial parent claiming to have fulfilled their obligation.

When dealing with visitation refusal, both custodial and non-custodial parents are encouraged to be flexible, patient, and communicative with their child and keep the lines of communication open to understand the reasoning behind the refusal. If a child consistently refuses to comply with a visitation order, either parent may seek a modification of the order. Parties can also pursue court-ordered counseling to attempt to repair the relationship between the child and non-custodial parent and, if necessary, file an action to enforce the custody order.

Talk to a Dedicated Dallas Child Custody Attorney

Navigating the emotional and legal complexities created by a child’s visitation refusal can be difficult, but there are options affected parents can take to maintain their relationship with their child. If you have questions about what measures you can employ to protect your parental rights, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney. The dedicated Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to prevail in challenging family-law disputes, and if we represent you, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. Our main office is located in Dallas, and we are available to meet clients for meetings at our Collin-County office, which is located in Plano. We regularly represent people in child custody matters in Dallas, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Frisco, McKinney, Irving, Richardson, and Garland. We also aid people parties with family-law cases in cities in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our online form to arrange a confidential meeting.

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