At what age from Indiana, what age does a child can refuse to visit non custodial parent

Asked over 5 years ago - Indianapolis, IN

i have full physical custody of my kids. divorce recently completed. daughter 10yrs old has voiced that she doesnt want to see or speak to her father. what age can she refuse and I wont be held accountable. i need legal advice

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . There is no magic age when children get to decide where to live. The best interest of the child is the standard.

    The law regarding a child's 'right'* to choose is a matter for each State and jurisdiction. The judge in most States, not the child, makes the decision based on the best interest of the child. Although not a standard by any means, many States have begun to give 'consideration' to a child's declaration of custodial preference when the child reaches the age of twelve or thirteen, sometimes fourteen. There are even cases when children of age 9 are allowed to testify.

    The judge is normally given almost unlimited latitude in whether or not she or he listens to a child and how much weight to give to the child's wishes. In short, there is no specific "age" but the younger the child the less likely for a judge to give the stated preference much weight.

    Good luck to you.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the non-IN lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed IN professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an atttorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

  2. Carolyn Annette Elsey

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . There's no magic age when kids can start deciding whether a court order applies or not. Age 10 is pretty young for this to be happening. Typically, when kids are 16 or older and have much more independent social lives they start balking at visits. The custodial parent's obligation is to make the child available for the visit. With a much older child the custodial parent's ability to make the child go on the visit is much less than when dealing with a 10 year-old.

    I suggest that you have your daughter see a counselor. Kids have a really hard time dealing with change. She's probably pretty clingy now. Thing is, kids are often just as clingy when comes to leaving the visiting parent too.

    Considering that your divorce was just recently completed, if you were to take this back to court it's not likely that the court would do anything.

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