If my daughter who is 15 doesn’t want to go to her dad’s for weekend visitation, do I have to make her go?

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If my daughter who is 15 doesn’t want to go to her dad’s for weekend visitation, do I have to make her go?

He is telling her she has to. He gets them the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekend. I have primary custody if I don’t make her go will I be in contempt?

Asked on August 28, 2015 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As the custodial parent who doesn't comply with the court ordered visitation, your daughter's father can ask the judge to hold you in contempt of court if you are intentionally not preventing or otherwis interferring with your child's visitation.
That having been said, since your daughter is 14 years old, you cannot physically force her to visit with her father if she doesn't want to. Threatening her with punishment, etc. is not likely to get what you want. The truth is that a teenager most likely would rather be with their friends than with either of their parents. In recognition of this fact, the judges tend to hold the teenagers responsible for their missed visitation, not the custodial parent. Since the custodial parent can't make a teenager visit as ordered, then the court is unlikely to find the parent in contempt of court for failing to comply with the visitation order.


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