Generally speaking, a child doesn't have the legal discretion to determine whether or not to participate in a scheduled visitation with the noncustodial parent. Sure, a judge may decide to ask for their input once they reach a certain age (the rule of sevens says ages 0-7 are presumptively incapable of being reliable witnesses; 7-14 are rebuttably capable; and 14-17 are presumed capable). Oftentimes this will occur in camera - that is in a judge's chambers, or office - because it is deemed less traumatizing for a child than testifying or being questioned in open court. The latter may have been the reason that the judge you had before decided it was a "bad idea." If your daughter actually bodily refuses to go with dad or runs away on the way to or from or while at dad's place, then you have cause to call the authorities to make her comply. It's a lose-lose situation to force a child to have time with a parent when they don't want to, but the problem is they are not legally old enough to make such decisions themselves. Best of luck to you.
This post should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.<br /> <a href="http://www.joanbundy.com" target="_blank">Joan M. Bundy, Attorney at Law, Casa Grande, Arizona</a> |
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