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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11977
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My 14 year old daughter refuses to go to her fathers house

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My 14 year old daughter refuses to go to her father's house now after claiming verbal abuse, emotional abuse and witnessing physical abuse on my son. Two separate child therapists have told the father it's best if she stays with me until some family counseling can be completed. He has now filed Contempt of court charges against me for encouraging her to stay with me. I have always encouraged her to go to her father's and driven her up to his house according to the agreement, but she refuses to get out of the car. He even called the police on her once when she wouldn't get out. I know I am not in contempt, but am at a loss of what to do regarding her situation. She refuses to see him.

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I understand the situation, but don't want to assume anything. What legal question did you need answered, please?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Have I done anything wrong according to the court? I have driven her up to his house, but she refuses to get out of the car. I can't physically force her out!

Thank you for your reply.


Techincally speaking, legally, you are bound by the visitation agreement. The parents of a minor subject to a custody and visitation order are bound by its terms and must comply with the order until it is modified or terminated.


That said, this is a fact question in each case. If a teenage child refuses to visit with the noncustodial parent, through no fault of the custodial parent, the custodial parent lacks the ability to comply with the order and cannot be held in contempt; in these cases, the noncustodial parent is probably left without a remedy; because as long as you continue to attempt to have the child visit her father and have regular contact with him, and are not trying to alienate the father from her, the court has no more authority to force her out of the car than you do.


However, I should tell you that in my experience, the judge is probably going to lay into you pretty good about your parental responsibilities; that's typical of initial contempt hearings --they don't often impose harsh sanctions initially but will issue you a stern warning that they don't want to see this matter come back to court. Your daughter needs to understand that her actions can reuslt in your having to pay his attorney fees, and face other possible sanctions from the court, including possible fines, even jail time for repeated contempt violations.


Since the emergency hearing didn't work, you might consider filing a supplemental petition to modify cusotdy/visitation together with a motion for testimony and attendance of minor children, to ask that your child be allowed to testify in this matter. At 14, she is certainly old enough to be heard.


Please don't hesitate to reply back if you have additional questions or require more information.


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