If you have court-ordered parenting time with your child, you probably value every second you spend together. However, even if the child’s other parent is compliant with your custody agreement, getting the child to comply isn’t always easy.
Despite parenting time orders, older children and teenagers sometimes refuse to see their non-custodial parents. If you’re experiencing this challenge with your teenager, keep reading to learn the steps you can take to improve their compliance and how a lawyer for child custody can help.
What Is “Parenting Time”?
In Colorado, “parenting time” is a court-ordered amount of time that a non-custodial parent can spend with their child. There is no set amount of parenting time that each parent can receive. Instead, the court determines parenting time during a custody or visitation hearing.
Parenting time orders are more common for non-custodial parents than for primary caregivers. Most parents are entitled to at least some parenting time unless the court has terminated their rights.
Common Reasons Teenagers Refuse to Comply With Visitation Orders
If your teenager refuses to comply with a court order to spend time with you, understanding the reasons behind their non-compliance is the first step in rectifying it. Here are a few common reasons teenagers refuse to cooperate with visitation or parenting time orders:
The Teenager Does Not Enjoy Spending Time With the Non-Custodial Parent
One of the primary reasons teenagers refuse to spend time with a non-custodial parent is because they simply don’t want to. They may not enjoy spending time at the non-custodial parent’s house, or they may simply prefer to spend their time in other ways.They are a teenager, after all.
The Teenager Is Too Busy
Teenagers often load their free time with sports, hobbies, and extracurricular activities. As a result, your teenager may not show up for parenting time because they are simply too busy.
Because parenting time is usually a court order, it is important to emphasize that the teenager needs to prioritize it over other activities. However, you can consider ways to combine your parenting time with the child’s scheduled activities. This can not only make it easier on you but also on your teenager.
The Other Parent Is Encouraging Them to Refuse Visitation
Unfortunately, sometimes the other parent in a visitation agreement is responsible for a teenager’s non-compliance. For example, the teenager’s primary custodian may pressure or coerce them not to spend time with the non-custodial parent.
However, in Colorado, no parent can deny another parent’s court-mandated parenting time. If a parent wishes to modify parenting time, they must file a motion with the court. The court will then survey the child’s best interests to determine whether to approve the modification.
Steps You Can Take To Improve Parenting Time Compliance
Give Your Teenager Control
Your teenager may feel like their free time is outside their control, making them reluctant to spend time with you. Instead, try giving your teenager more control over when they spend time with you and what activities you complete together. This can make them more willing to comply with the court order.
Parenting time agreements can be stressful for children and teenagers. Your child may feel like their life is split in half between you and their other parent. They may also still be recovering from the divorce, separation, or another event that led to the visitation agreement.
As a result, showing empathy throughout your visits may help improve their compliance.
Improve Your Time Together
If you spend the whole visitation reprimanding your teenager, they probably won’t be excited about future visits. Instead, try to make your time together as enjoyable as possible. Seek out activities your teenager enjoys
Seek Professional Assistance
You may also consider enlisting professional assistance to regain your teenager’s trust and improve their parenting time compliance. You can consider scheduling an appointment with a family counselor to help resolve these issues. However, keep in mind that your teenager may initially resist this action.
How Our Child Custody Lawyers Can Help
Hiring a custody lawyer can also help rectify issues with parenting time compliance. An attorney can help you navigate the legal issues surrounding parenting time. For example, if your parenting time is not court-mandated, your attorney can walk you through the steps to turn the agreement into a legal contract.
Additionally, if the other parent is responsible for denying your parenting time, your attorney can help you file a motion to enforce your court-ordered time with your teenager.
If you’re looking for “custody lawyers near me,” our team at The Drake Law Firm, P.C., can help. We have years of experience navigating complex child custody cases, and we’d be happy to put our knowledge and passion to work to assist your case.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.