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14 1/2 Year old Daughter refuses to see Father, does she get to make this decision?

Glendora, CA |

My 14 1/2 year old daughter does not want to visit her father we have 70/30 custody. Our paperwork says she is to visit him once a week (5-9pm) and every other weekend. She complains of him being verbally abusive, yelling, controlling, etc. I have had to go pick her up from him after them only being together for less than 10 minutes. Things got heated and physical (grabbing of personal belongings). I have expressed to her that she is to see him and the her relationship with him is important.

He has insisted on seeing her and she literally tells me "I will not go, you can not make me go out the door". He says that he is going to invoke his parental rights. I am not alienating him or refusing to share custody.

What do I do? When do her emotions and desires matter?
Divorce is final.

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Attorney answers 3


Her emotions and desires do matter, especially under those circumstances. You should consult, or better, retain, an experienced Family Law Attorney to advise and represent you in an RFO to modify Child Custody and Visitation, to request that the Court allow your daughter to testify at the hearing(s) on that RFO, and to request a Psychological Custody Evaluation.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with counsel. Your daughter is old enough where the court and the mediator will listen to what she has to say in making a determination. Rather than risk violating the court order, you should file a Request for Order that changes custody. Lastly, there might be more to your daughter's story as well that you are unaware of; so best to look into this situation more.

Best of luck,

-Sanjay Paul, Esq.
(888) 373-2602

This is not legal advice. No attorney client relationship exists between us.


At age 14 or older, the court considers the child's preferences but the child does not decide what the court order will be. If the child refuses to go to a court ordered visitation , you may be held to account or blamed. But many police depts do not force a child to go if the child acts the way you describe. But you need to go to court to resolve it promptly.

You need to listen to the reasons your child is acting this way. Children express things differently. You cant insist that she explain this like an adult or a lawyer. Often indirect questions and active listening is employed in a non threatening, non challenging manner.

The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.