If, on the weekends they are supposed to stay with their father, my children cry and say they do not want to go and pretty much refuse (because of various reasons they do not feel comfortable there, including their dad’s bad temper ). What are my options if there is a consent order regarding visitation with their father? What can he do if they refuse, cry and just do not want to stay with him? Do I have to force them? What can he do to me if I don’t make them go? They are girls, 8 and 10 years old.
Custody and visitation is determined by the best interests of the children. How long ago did you and the father enter into the consent order? Explore why your children don’t feel comfortable at their dad’s house.
You should always follow a court order unless you feel their safety is in imminent danger. If this is not an issue and you chose not to send them with their father, he could file a motion to show cause with the Court (requiring you to come to court to show good cause why you did not follow the court order), in which the remedies are contempt of court. Keep in mind a court order is also enforceable by law enforcement officers, therefore it is best to follow the terms of the order.
A custody order (even a consent order) can be modified when there is a substantial change in circumstances. After you have explored the reasons why your children do not feel comfortable with their father, you may need to consider modifying your court order, which requires going back to court. In the meantime, if you’re able, you and the father can discuss why the children feel the way that they do and perhaps come up with a new arrangement.