Can a teen decide custody/visitation?


#1

From what I have read on children deciding custody and visitations for themselves, the court usually will take into consideration the wishes of the child, but normally they will decide what is in the child’s best interest. Children need both their parents involved as much as possible and that is why the courts require compliance by the custodial parent enforcing visitation. I would say that your daughter should have valid reasons for not wanting to visit her father, not just issues like Dad doesn’t let me go to the movies with my friends or mom doesn’t let me play video games. If the reasons are detrimental to her well-being or harmful to her that is a different scenario. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, you should enforce her visits with her father. We don’t get to choose who our family is so if it’s just an issue of not wanting to go, then it is not her choice. With teenager’s this may not be enforced as much due to most will not comply with the courts decision, but I believe that is up to the other parent to deal with and let them know that it’s not their choice.
My suggestion is, find out why she doesn’t want to go visit her Dad and you make a decision based on that before you drag it into court. Discuss the reason with her father and try to work it out between you. Lawyers and the courts do not know your child as you do, but if the reasons are petty…your daughter needs to learn the deal with it and spend time with her father. Just my opinion though.
My stepchildren go back and forth with this all the time. One week they don’t want to go to their mother’s and the next week they don’t want to come to our house, they do get over it.


#2

My children are going through the same thing I put a posting up not to long ago and the reply was take back to court in short
I feel for you I am having the same I do not want them to go with her they scared of her but there is nothing I can do right now maybe when school is out
I hope the best for you and good luck


#3

Children in NC don’t get to decide visitation issues. The court may take child’s wishes into account, but is not required to do so.

Keep in mind that court orders are nothing more than a bunch of words written on a piece of paper. The “quality” and “correctness” of these orders varies immensely from case to case. The order may say ‘x’, ‘y’, and ‘z’ regarding visitation. In actual practice, however, there is little a court can do to force an unwilling teen to abide by the custody provisions of its orders. Parents only need make a reasonable effort to execute these provisions. Once that’s done, the court’s “big hammer” - contempt - can’t be used to force compliance.


#4

My 13 year old daughter does not want to visit her father’s house. Will the courts allow her to make that decision for herself?