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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37376
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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I have a quick question. I recently am divorced with a 16

Customer Question

Hello, I have a quick question. I recently am divorced with a 16 1/2 year old daughter. My daughter despises her father and does not want to visit with him at all. In the divorce and property settlement it is worded exactly this way. 1. The parties shall have joint custody of their minor child. 2. The parties shave have a joint parenting schedule with said child and the said child shall reside with both parties at various times. 3. There shall be no child support paid by either party to the other. Each prty shall be responsible for the cost of maintaining their child when child is with him. Again as I said, my daughter does not want to visit him. I can not afford an attorney, so I am coming to you to see how this translates since no visitation schedule was ordered by the court. Her father is being a jerk and threatening to take me to court for "contempt of court" Where do I stand legally?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Shelbyville KY
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: what do you mean?
JA: What confuses you?
Customer: How much time does she have to spend with her father. He says we should have her 50/50, to which she does not want to be with him at all. So do I have to force her to go see him? She is almost 17 years old
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I just want to know what I need to do for my daughter
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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If there is no set visitation schedule, then you are not violating anything. When a judge says that the parents have joint custody, that just means that whoever has the child has a legal right to do so. But one parent can't force the other one to deliver the child to them without a court order.

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So he can go back to court and request a modification of the order to put a visitation schedule in place, but he has no grounds to file for contempt because you aren't violating anything..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can my daughter refuse to go due to her age
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

This is the thing... if she is 17 she can object to any visitation order in court and explain her reasons to the judge. When a child is over 12, they can legally express their preferences. It is not determinative, but the judge will take it into consideration.

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If the judge does put in an order, the order is directed at you, not her. So the key thing is that you would have to make the child available for visitation....but that is it. You don't have to force her into the car to go with father...you just can't obstruct his rights. If she refuses to go, he can't drag her kicking and screaming into the car either as that would be disturbing the peace and you or she could call police and they would tell him to leave and take it up in court.

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So realistically, if she refused to go with him, there is not much he can do but complain to the judge and if you aren't doing anything to hamper the order, there really isn't much the judge could do at this point either..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you so much
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided as that is the only way I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks much

Barrister