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  1. #1
    reallypissedoff is offline Junior Member
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    At what age cn the child say no to visitation?

    What is the name of your state? NC

    I have primary physical custody of my two children from my 12 year marriage. My son is 11 years and 10 months old. He has overheard his father, and step-mother "bad-mouthing" me, and it has truely upset my son to the point where he doesn't want to visit with his father for a while. We have joint custody, yet the language states that at any time there is a conflict of interest, I have the ultimate "say-so" in reguards to the best interest for our children. I took him (court ordered equidistance) this past weekend to meet with his father. Two deputy's witnessed that for fourty-five minutes, I tried to persuade my son to go and visit with his dad. My son continously refused. He was emotionally distrought. I couldn't bare witness to his distress any longer, and told the officers that I would take him back home with me. They stated that based on reading the court order, they didn't see where I was wrong.

    I want to know if I can be held in contempt of court since I didn't "force" my son into his father's vehicle for him to exercise his visitation weekend?
  2. #2
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    The answer to the only legal question you asked is 18.
  3. #3
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    You may well be. Kids don't make these decisions.
  4. #4
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    anD FURTHERMORE, this was NOT a conflict of interest. This was a temper tantrum which will land you in front of a judge to explain why you are in violation of the court order.

    Police are NOT judges or attorneys and they should keep their legal opinions to themselves.
  5. #5
    Mbarr is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2
    You may well be. Kids don't make these decisions.
    I would think that, under these particular circumstances, it is not up to mom to force the kid into dad's car. That's up to dad. Mom has done her part by bringing the child to the meeting place and telling him to go.
  6. #6
    reallypissedoff is offline Junior Member
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    I have to agree that I did my part in transporting my son to our meeting place. The two deputy's witnessed that I was encouraging for my son to leave with his dad. It wasn't a temper tantrum. It's hard to actually list a complete assessment over the internet of what termoil my son was going through that evening. It's easily defferentiated between when one desplays emotions towards not getting what they want verses displaying true emotions of anguish, intimidation and fear in one's eyes.

    I simply brought this question to the fore-front due to the fact that I truely contemplated my decision in bringing my son home. Previously that week, my son called his father via cell phone, informing him that he didn't want to visit with him. I followed-up with the communication via a cordial email the following day requesting for my ex to contact my son via phone and discuss these real issues that are concerning my son. My ex failed to respond to my email. Therefore, I followed the court order, and drove the hour down the road to meet my ex. My son has real issues that he needs to discuss one-on-one with his dad, without any distractions. He is aware of this. As a single parent, I, like many others out there, will do everything in my power to protect my child and to provide for my child.

    My understanding was that it is, in reality, a grey area, as to the "exact age" when a child can make the decission of no longer wishing to visit with the absent parent, and/or live with the absent parent. As long as the child proves to the court that they are "mature through the courts eyes," then they are able to make that decission. Again, I understand that there isn't a set age.

    The language in the court order was specifically written to always keep what is in the children's best interest at heart. It is in the best interest of my son to spend some time with his dad. It's also in the best interest of my son to maintain a level of emotional stability. That's why I asked the question. Thank you for your reply.
  7. #7
    tigger22472 is offline Senior Member
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    You are confusing custody issues with visitation.
  8. #8
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by reallypissedoff
    I have to agree that I did my part in transporting my son to our meeting place. The two deputy's witnessed that I was encouraging for my son to leave with his dad. It wasn't a temper tantrum. It's hard to actually list a complete assessment over the internet of what termoil my son was going through that evening. It's easily defferentiated between when one desplays emotions towards not getting what they want verses displaying true emotions of anguish, intimidation and fear in one's eyes.
    Then you need a come to jesus with your son.
    I simply brought this question to the fore-front due to the fact that I truely contemplated my decision in bringing my son home. Previously that week, my son called his father via cell phone, informing him that he didn't want to visit with him. I followed-up with the communication via a cordial email the following day requesting for my ex to contact my son via phone and discuss these real issues that are concerning my son. My ex failed to respond to my email. Therefore, I followed the court order, and drove the hour down the road to meet my ex. My son has real issues that he needs to discuss one-on-one with his dad, without any distractions. He is aware of this. As a single parent, I, like many others out there, will do everything in my power to protect my child and to provide for my child.
    your ex is not bound by the visitation order. You are.
    My understanding was that it is, in reality, a grey area, as to the "exact age" when a child can make the decission of no longer wishing to visit with the absent parent, and/or live with the absent parent. As long as the child proves to the court that they are "mature through the courts eyes," then they are able to make that decission. Again, I understand that there isn't a set age.
    There is no grey area. The age when your son can make this decision is 18. PERIOD!
    The language in the court order was specifically written to always keep what is in the children's best interest at heart. It is in the best interest of my son to spend some time with his dad. It's also in the best interest of my son to maintain a level of emotional stability. That's why I asked the question. Thank you for your reply.
    Then I suggest you get your son some therapy and have a heart to heart with your ex. And, in the meantime you need to tell your son that if he continues this course of action, YOU will have to answer to the court why you have not enforced the court's order.

    YOU are the only one legally liable to follow the visitation order.
  9. #9
    westcoastdaddy Guest

    Angry your son needs to go to dad's when its his time, or he could be living with dad

    and also explain to your son why eventually he may be living with his dad full time down the road because mom was interfering with dad's visitation rights, and dad won custody because mom let him act like a spoiled brat!
  10. #10
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by westcoastdaddy
    and also explain to your son why eventually he may be living with his dad full time down the road because mom was interfering with dad's visitation rights, and dad won custody because mom let him act like a spoiled brat!
    First of all, that is not an issue. Second of all,......You feel the need to involve your 20 kids in adult issues, you go for it Kelly. Don't advise people to speak to their children and involve them any more than they need be.

    I understand you cannot possibly have any functioning brain cells when it comes to parenting, but please do not pass this along as actual legal advice.
    Last edited by Shay-Pari'e; 11-08-2005 at 04:28 PM.
  11. #11
    mukiman is offline Member
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    WOW**************.Things are sure different in California. The courts here start listening to the kids wishes at about 12. (they do not always honor them, but they take them in to consideration).
    You need to get your son some counseling, and not make such a big deal out of your exes comments. It seems like YOU are the angry one and it is affecting your child.
    I've been there.... it sucks.
    Muki
  12. #12
    tigger22472 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mukiman
    WOW**************.Things are sure different in California. The courts here start listening to the kids wishes at about 12. (they do not always honor them, but they take them in to consideration).
    You need to get your son some counseling, and not make such a big deal out of your exes comments. It seems like YOU are the angry one and it is affecting your child.
    I've been there.... it sucks.
    Muki
    They will listen when it comes to custody, and as you said not alway honor it but take it into consideration. Visitation is a whole other story.
  13. #13
    424Smudge is offline Member
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    OP, I don't see you winning this one. The judge is more than likely going to ask you what is really going on. I am a little confused why an almost 12 year old would be terrified of his dad because he OVERHEARD something. The word overheard goes to show that this is an isolated incident and I doubt that is what is scaring the crap out of him. Something is missing from your story. Did you say something to him when he told you about what dad said? Is he being threatened? Did you really try to get him to go with dad or did you just stand by the car and murmur "common letís go"?
    I don't believe you story and if I am thinking these things chances are good that a judge will ask too. In regards to the cops being there, they didnít say yes or no that you were right they simply said that they didn't see anything wrong going on and chances are good that dad didn't say anything. Cops usually don't like to interfere with issues with visitation and you more than likely got some very passive cops. Furthermore, I find it highly unlikely that they actually just stood there for 45 minutes while you tried to coax your kid into dadís car.

    Either way the age is 18 period, some courts will listen to what the kid has to say but that is usually in front of a psychologist that is trained to determine if one parent or the other is coaxing the child to say certain things.
  14. #14
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    I'm curious when and how son got the impression that visitation was optional. What consequences did the kid get for refusing?

    There have been times when my two (or one or the other) haven't been keen on going to their Dad's, but it has never even been an option for them to choose not to go.
  15. #15
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2
    I'm curious when and how son got the impression that visitation was optional. What consequences did the kid get for refusing?

    There have been times when my two (or one or the other) haven't been keen on going to their Dad's, but it has never even been an option for them to choose not to go.
    Exactly! Does one bring their kid to School, Grandma's, Aunt Sara's or Sunday School, but then allow their child to decide if they will actually get out of the car and go where the adults in their life have determined they must go?

    Of course not! Driving them is only part of the parental obligation, if you don't create sanctions for a child not actually getting out and GOING, then you are failing in your duty as a parent. If a child lives in your home, you have sanctions available to you that create a consequence to a child, for their decision to disregard their parents instructions.

    While it may be ok to allow your child to decide if they wish to go to McDonalds or Burger King, kids DON"T get to choose whether a court order must be followed or ignored! IT is a dangerous concept to place in their heads, that obeying court orders is strictly optional.

    By the way, would you allow a child to decide if dad must obey the court order that states he must pay child support? Do you think it would be ok to allow a child to decide if that portion of the CO is also optional, based on what a CHILD feels?
    Last edited by nextwife; 11-08-2005 at 08:48 AM.

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