HomeBlogChild CustodyCan My Child Refuse Visitation from a Parent?

Can My Child Refuse Visitation from a Parent?

Following a divorce or the resolution of a child custody concern, the court will hand down specific child custody orders. In Illinois, this is called entering into an Allocation Judgment, which includes an allocation between each parent for decision-making and parenting time, and both the parenting time schedule and decision-making responsibility that you receive is enforceable, which means that you are required to carefully follow it. If you have questions or concerns about your parenting time schedule or your responsibility for certain aspects of decision-making, you shouldn’t wait to discuss them with an experienced Chicago parenting time attorney. 

The Court’s Position

The court will try to make a decision that is in the best interest of the children involved, and it’s generally accepted that, barring a significant reason for ruling otherwise, children are better off when they are able to maximize the time they spend with both parents – to the best degree possible. In other words, the court believes it’s in your children’s best interest to adhere to the parenting time schedule as ordered, and it will enforce the issue if it becomes necessary to do so. 

The Child’s Preference

Divorce is an emotional transition, and it can be hardest on the children involved. As such, it’s not unusual for a child to have a preference regarding which household they want to stay in. This is a separate matter that you, as a parent, can help your child resolve, but limiting the time they spend with their other parent now can have lasting emotional implications in your child’s future that are best avoided. Each case is unique, so make sure you are forthcoming about your concerns so that your Chicago divorce attorney can properly advise you.  Alienation, for example, is not acceptable and can impact parenting time.

Your Obligation

If a court order is in place, you are obligated to drop your children off and pick them up according to those court orders, but there are additional factors that can play a role:

  • The younger your child is, the less wiggle room the court will allow.
  • If your child is a teenager – with their own job, driver’s license, and social life, for example – the court is more likely to be lenient. 
  • If you genuinely believe that your child is not safe when they are with their other parent, it is important to bring that to the attention of the court through legal means.

Finally, it’s important to note that child support and visitation are completely separate issues. While your failure to adhere to the visitation schedule does not amount to an invitation for your ex to quit paying child support, it could land you in hot water with the court and is unlikely to be in your children’s best interests.

Turn to an Experienced Illinois Parenting Time Attorney for the Help You Need

If you have a parenting time concern, the experienced divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC in Chicago recognize the gravity of the situation and have the experience, compassion, and keen legal insight to help. Learn more by contacting or calling us today.



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