In the State of Georgia the Superior Court has jurisdiction over divorce and child custody related matters. An order from the court determining child custody can result from the initiation of a divorce proceeding where children are involved or a legitimation proceeding. The court will preside over the matter and issue an order which will govern how the parties are to conduct themselves into the future. In particular, the court’s order will clearly state who the primary custodian of the child is and detail how much time each parent is to have with the child. Regardless, once the court issues it’s ruling it is binding on the parties. However, there are real life scenarios that present obstacles for parties attempting to comply with a custody order.
What should a custodial parent do if the child resists or refuses to visit with the non-custodial parent?
The answer to this question will vary in large part based on the reason for the child’s resistance to visitation. Additionally, factors such as the age of the child, disciplinary concerns and past incidents of abuse are important considerations. For instance, a custodial parent may have legitimate concerns that the child is being exposed to physical or emotional abuse. This may provide a basis for application to the court for a modification of the current custodial order. The court would have the power to order non-supervised visitation or eliminate visitation entirely if it was found to be in the best interest of the child. The important thing to remember is that this should be taken up with the court as to prevent the custodial parent from being held in contempt.
It is often the case that a child is resistant to visiting the non-custodial parent because of issues such as differences in parental styles between both parents or simply being uncomfortable around a potential stepparent or stepsiblings. Regardless, the law takes the position that it is in the child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents and will typically require that the order be enforced. Family therapist and counselors recommend regularly communicating with your child throughout the divorce/custodial legal process in order to prevent any confusion and to ensure that your child understands the new family dynamic. Further, it is equally important that both parents refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in the child’s presence as this could also impact their interaction with the other parent.
The Faucette Law Firm represents clients in all matters related to contested and uncontested divorce, legitimation, child custody, child support, alimony and modifications. We serve Atlanta, Fulton, Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Carrollton and Fayette Counties. Whether you need to pursue a modification of a child custody order or are being denied visitation by the custodial parent our law firm can answer your questions and guide you through the process. Contact our office today for a consultation. (770) 485-6620