I get a ton of questions all the time from people who have children that are old enough to express themselves and they’re mature enough to say what they want and what they don’t want and those kids are telling one parents if they don’t want to go spend time with the other parents. This can be a problem especially if there’s a court order in place that says the other parent is entitled to a certain amount of parenting time and you’re always obligated to follow the court order. If you don’t follow the court order you could be brought in front of the court for an enforcement action which means the judge could force you to follow the order or at the very worst you could be brought in front of the court for a contempt of court proceeding in which the judge would look at whether or not you knowingly and willfully violated the court order and in some cases judges really get unhappy when someone doesn’t follow their orders and they imposed very harsh punishments on people who don’t follow court orders.
But what if you have a 16 year old who say, mom or dad I don’t want to go with the other parent. What do you do? In my experience is that when I go in front of judges and judges hear the situation what they do is they tell the parents that the child doesn’t get to make the choice a court order is in effect the court has made that order after considering the best interest of the child or the children and the court expects it to be followed. And judges often use the example of children who say that they don’t want to go to school which happens a lot, because I have a five or six year old daughter and she’s always telling me she doesn’t want to go to school but the thing is even if your kid tells you that she doesn’t want to go to school you still make them go to school because that’s the best thing for them.
So the judge is going to be operating under the premise that whatever the parenting plan is it’s in the best interest of the children or it would not have been ordered and if it is in the children’s best interest to go with the other parents. Now I understand you may not agree with that you may not agree with the parenting that was ordered and depending on the circumstances of your taste it may be time to ask to have that parenting plan modified especially if there’s been a big change in circumstances between this point and the time when the original parenting plan was ordered.
The point of this video is you just have to follow the court order and if you have a kid who’s older who’s just simply saying, I don’t want to go to mom or dad’s, that may not be good enough for your judge, unless there’s some really good reasons and some good reasons might be that one of the parents is being abusive or is doing drugs or just hanging around people who are not savory people they don’t have great character. So there are factors that might take you out of that but unless and until you get a court order where the judge says the kids don’t have to go they have to go and that’s the way it is in the eyes of the court. If there’s an emergency that happens and you need to take emergency action call the police, contact Child Protective Services or file an emergency motion with your judge.