Skip to main content

My children 13, 16 and 18 have refused to come with me (their father) for any visitation since my ex and I separated and Divorce

White Plains, NY |

My 13 ,16,18 year old kids refuse to come with me when I go to pick them up for my scheduled visitation. They say they are not ready to see me or are not comfortable etc. their mother says she encourages them to come but can't make them.

They email me the day of visitation saying they won't go and not to even come by or they tell me they aren't coming when I arrive.

Do they have a legal right to refuse? There is no history of abuse, drugs , alcohol etc. is the mother in contempt? I want to email them back to let them m ow the legal ramifications of their refusal but wa t to be sure of the law In NY.

The mother will shut the door on me and tell me there is nothin g she can do and that she 'encourages them to go'. I have filed police in scent reports and have set a court date in family.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It is unusual for the children to reject visitation with them if there is no underlying pathology in your prior relationship. The mother may be alientating them, but you do not seem to present that as a probability. There is authority that when children refuse for no legitimate reason to engage in visitation with the non-custodial spouse, it may be relected in termination of child support. More likely, the court would be receptive to joint counseling of you and the children to identify the problems and proceed with creating a relationship among you. You should consult with a family law attorney prior to appearing in court, since the court gets certain impressions of a case from the first appearance which are often important to the course of the litigation.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.


  2. See if you can work things out in Family Court. With respect to the 18 year old the court has no jurisdiction regarding visitation. You may seek to terminate child support if there is parental alienation. If you wish to reestablish visitation, then visitation with the assistance of a social worker or a therapist may work. Have an experienced family law attorney assist you.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  3. First, you should keep a paper-trail of your efforts to visit with them. Second, you should do some soul-searching as to whether your prior actions were at all to blame for their refusal. If their refusal to visit is completely unjustified, then you can file a separate petition to terminate or reduce child support. Finally, the Court loses jurisdiction to rule on visitation matters at age 18, so he Court would only have authority to address issues with the 16 & 13 yrea old. In any event, I highly encourage you to schedule a follow-up consultation with a White Plains Child Custody attorney.

    * If you found my answer to be helpful, or the "best answer," please feel free to mark it accordingly.


  4. You can file to enforce your vistation rights in Family Court. One option might be theraputic supervised visits where you meet with the kid(s) and a therapist. Divorce is hard on children. Good luck!

Child custody topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics