What to do if your child refuses to visit you

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Raising kids in two homes poses some difficulties, and one of them is your child refusing to visit you. When you and the other parent were in the same house, and your child was bothered or upset, they would go to their room. But now, they can refuse to visit you during your parenting time, which can be devastating.

If this happens, here is what to do.

Find out the reason

Your child may refuse to come to your house for different reasons. They may be:

  • Unhappy with the rules in your home
  • Want to spend time with friends at a planned event
  • Not comfortable with your new partner or roommate if you have one or
  • You may be living far from the things they enjoy

You should take time to understand the reason for their decision. Your child may not tell you, but they may open up to your co-parent, who may, in turn, inform you. When you know why your child does not want to visit, you can talk to them to find a middle ground.

Work with the other parent

It may not be the best option to force your kid to visit you. However, your co-parent may need to make your child available during your schedule. Therefore, you should work with them. Let them talk to your child, as this may be more manageable than you calling, trying to convince them to visit.

Should you go to court?

If your child refuses to visit you regardless of the discussions they have with you and your co-parent, or you believe the other parent may have a part in this issue, it may be best to get the help of a judge. If you believe your parenting time is being compromised, you should get legal help to make informed decisions.

FindLaw Network