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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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My daughter is 13, we live in Virginia and I am the Legal Primary

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My daughter is 13, we live in Virginia and I am the Legal Primary Custodial Parent, and her Father has every-other weekend Visitation. My daughter has been "verbally, mentally" abused by him for many months straight - every weekend with him. SHe does not want to go visit him - what rights does she or I have? It is heart breaking to watch her emotionally break down. She has cried alot., I got counseling recently., but she is too afraid to talk about her Father. She is intimidated by him.

So sorry to hear of your difficult situation. If my answer is not clear to you, I encourage you to ask me for clarification by using the reply button.

The child does not have a legal right to decline to comply with a court order of visitation. That said, you may petition the court for modification to the visitation agreement based upon a change in circumstances that affects the best interests of the child. A change in preference of a 13-year-old would qualify for such a change. A court will typically give great weight to the opinion of a 13-year-old.

Age is not the only factor that is considered by the court. Typically, the court will take into consideration the maturity of the child and the child's reasons for requesting the change.

Please let me know if you have any questions concerning my answer.
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