Ending visitation

If you have a court order custody agreement you will need to file a modifcation to change this and there is basically no court would completely deny your ex visitation without substantial reason such as domestic violence, particularly if he wants to see his daughter.
One of the things that I see here as a “red flag” is your comment about “…and I sympathize with her not wanting to be around him.” If she knows that you are going to agree with her about not wanting to be around her dad…if life is easier or more “fun” at your house…
In this case what may be best is to have a conversation or e-mail with your ex and share with him in a non-threatening and non-accusatory way what is going on. Do not try and fix this situation yourself or come between them. Encourage him to talk to his daughter and even perhaps consider counseling to improve their relationship. I am sure he is not unaware that there is a problem but may not know how to fix it or improve it on his own.

I see that you have posted a version of this same question on the parental forum as well and written that a judge will honor your daughter’s request. This may not be the case. Be advised that you never go straight to court in custody cases. You always go through court ordered mediation or counseling to see if it can be resolved and the last resort is being in front of a judge. If you did file that request for custody modification you will have to show a change of circumstances that would warrant modifcation, I would be sure and research what circumstances, if any, you could list. You and your ex and possibly your daughter separately would go through court ordered mediation or counseling to try and resolve this. This could take months. The counselor/mediator makes a recommendation. If you and your ex cannot agree on their recommendation it moves forward to a trial. Your lawyers will probably resolve this between you as you sit in court. Your daughter will likely never get in front of a judge to tell her “side”. Remember, the motto of the court in these situations is the “best interest” of the child.
As I said in my earlier post, I cannot imagine a situation without drugs or domestic violence involved when the court would not grant a father at least every other weekend time with a child. It would be for the best if you and your ex could somehow resolve this between yourselves otherwise you are talking months and thousands of dollars.

I have to agree with mal. I posted a reply on the parenting forum but you didn’t have the information that your ex has already agreed to reduced his visitations with his daughter from spending a week to every other weekend. Yes, this would be a custody modification and you would probably be entitled to more child support since your daughter is now spending more overnights with you. But if you have a court order custody and the new schedule is not been incorporated into that, your ex could take you back to court for contempt since you did not enforce the court ordered visitations. It’s great that he agreed to the new schedule but were this me I would be wondering what your motivation was for allowing your daughter to make this decision and to follow through with it. What type of demeanor does he have?
I am also doubtful that there’s a judge out there who is going to rule in favor of a teenager making the decision not to visit the other parent at all unless as mal said there is a reason. Children need both parents in their lives if it’s possible regardless of whether they are 5 or 35. In my opinion, it’s in your daughters best interest to accept that she has a father that wants to see her and spend time with her, instead of a dead beat dad.

My hope is that I will never have to pursue this option!

Thanks for the info!

The question you are asking often has a specific answer based on the facts of each case. If you have an older child usually a teenager, who does not want to visit with one parent the court will consider the following issues: Is the custodial parent doing everything they can to encourage and support visitation? You need to examine your own conduct and see if you are contributing to this issue, are you telling your child you understand why she doesn’t want to visit with her father, allowing her to participate in fun activities while she is with you during her father’s weekends? If you file a motion to modify custody in these circumstances your actions will be put under a microscope.

The court will probably want to hear from the child, why doesn’t she want to go to visitation, what can be done to make visitation better? Will forcing visitation improve the relationship or alienate the child even further.

I will tell you that courts have a strong preference for maintaining the relationship between the child and each parent.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My 14 year old daughter has complained for months about visiting her father. Their relationship has been strained for years. Now, she has told me that she does not want to ever go to his house again. I know him…his demeanor…and I sypathize with her not wanting to be around him.

He has previously agreed to alter our visitation schedule (changing from weekly visits to every other weekend), but I doubt he will willingly agree to having no visitation with her.

Where do I begin with the legal process to make this change? Is this considered a “custody modification”?