Can my 9 year old son refuse to see his dad?

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Can my 9 year old son refuse to see his dad?

My 9 year old son hates going to his fathers house. He has told me many times he doesn’t want to go and gets extremely upset when his visitation rolls around. He says his dad is always yelling at him and saying things such as “your head is in you ass”. Is there an age at which the court will not would not make him go? What can I do? He goes to his dad’s most of the summer.

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

Denise Ferguson / Denise Ferguson Attorney At Law

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In Ohio, you have an obligation as the custodial parent to facilitate visitation. Many counties include in their standard visitation plan that counseling needs to take place if the child is hesitant to go to visitation. (For example, Medina county is one such county.) I would encourage you to put your son in counseling as it can help him deal with the situation while you pursue whatever changes in court.

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Courts consider what is in the best interest of the child, but they don't usually allow very young children to say what they want.

However, assuming you have a court-ordered visitation plan, you could go back to court and request a change to the terms of visitation based on what your son tells you and the fact that he gets very upset visiting his father.

The court can hear both sides and make a determination.


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