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Son refuses to go for visitation

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Bluebird26 posted 5/27/2013 01:42 AM

Just wondering if there are any Australia SI members who may have dealt with this.

We have court orders, the children live with me, have visitation with their father EOW and some of the school holidays. Their father swaps and changes all the time due to 'work' (so he claims anyway a whole other story) so the visitation is never what appears in our court orders if he has them at all.

My oldest son who is 14 refuses to have any contact with his father. His father is now making an issue out of it. I have contacted my lawyer waiting for a call back. Any advice?

Skan posted 5/27/2013 19:56 PM

Can you ask that the court appoint a councilor/lawyer for your son to present his side of this triangle? I know that you can do that in the states, not sure if that's true where you are. He'd be considered to beold enough to be competentent to make his wishes known in the state that I'm at.

dmari posted 5/27/2013 20:08 PM

I'm not from Australia but just wanted to give my 2 cents. My son is also 14 and refuses to have any contact with stbx. The courts here won't force him too.

We also have court orders for visitation but with a stipulation that states "if either child or children decide not to visit with father, then there shall be no visitation."

Good Luck!

sparkysable posted 5/27/2013 20:11 PM

I don't know what the laws are there, but here after a certain age, like 13 or so, kids aren't forced to go on visitation.

AppleBlossom posted 5/27/2013 21:01 PM

Hey there, I am an Aussie, and while my kids are a bit younger, my current partner has had issues with his children who are the same age.

At around the age of 14, the courts would probably take the child's views into account, but they are very much guided by the Family Law Act, which is very keen to uphold relationships between parents and their kids.

Bottom line is, as loing as you as the parent are not actively encouraging him to stay away from his dad, and doing what you can to facilitate a good relationship, no one can force him to go. However, if your ex is wanting to push this, he will need to go to court. To protect yourself, I would keep a journal about everything from here on. I would also find ways for your son to find ways to express himself in a way that works for him, and perhaps find some counselling to work through these issues.

Your ex is not doing himself any favours by changing the schedule outside the court orders. I would be making a record of this too.

I think you are doing the right thing in having your lawyer handle this - taht way you cant be seen to be alienating your son.

i feel for your boy - it must be very, very hard.

downunder posted 5/28/2013 04:29 AM

From Australia. I went to court when my DD was 12. XWH moved in with OW and DD refused to have anything to do with him. XWH's solicitor (I didn't have one) tried to get her written in the court orders, if only to say she was exempt. In case 'DD12 ever saw those papers and could possibly be devastated to be left out'. The judge said she was old enough to make up her own mind. And that her name was not to be put on the orders as this could be used down the track in another court case.
My then DD5 is now 11 and starting to say she doesn't want to go. Mainly because XWH lives so far away and does nothing with them. She would rather do her sport and see her friends.
I also have a DS14 who chooses to see his father more than what he has to. But if he chose not to there is nothing I could do to make him.
And my oldest who had nothing to do with her father for two years (never did meet the OW) sees him maybe five times a year. Her choice, I don't think he gets much of a say.

crazynot posted 5/28/2013 05:40 AM

In the UK, once a child is 12 or over, it's entirely up to them. My DS (now 18, then 14) didn't speak to his dad for over a year. It was hideously painful for WH (boo hoo) and actually a big nuisance for me, but I believe it was his right to make that decision. They're fine with each other now, but neither of the kids (DD is 22) has or ever will have any contact whatsoever with OW, who knew them before the A.

Bluebird26 posted 5/28/2013 06:44 AM

Thanks everyone.

Update from the lawyer was that I am technically, breaching the court orders by not enforcing him going.

However he would have to take me to court to prove this. As long as I am not preventing him going or parent alienation and I am seen to be trying to repair their relationship. The court would then appoint a mediator to try and repair the relationship with his father.

If this did not work the court would hear my sons side and given that he is 14 years they would listen, doesn't mean they would award in his favour though. Also given the fact that he keeps not following the court orders he might find himself in more trouble then he bargains for.

I have everything in writing from him I only communicate via email or text message as he is verbally abusive. So I am NC as much as possible.

It's so hard all I want to do is protect my boy and he is really happy right now since he hasn't been seeing his father sigh......

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