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My son is 12 and wants to be able to choose not to go for…

My son is 12...

My son is 12 and wants to be able to choose not to go for visitation with his father. It is standard court ordered visits. His father has no contact between visits. He uses only major holidays and spring break.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?

No. He just shows up without warning for the major holidays and demands that my son go. But it is never consistent and very upsetting for everyone but mostly my son.

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state is he in?

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No thank you

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/16/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

You have the ability to file a Motion for Modification, asking the judge to terminate the visits. Alternatively, the judge could order that the father must give a certain amount of notice or visitation can be denied by you. Your son will be able to testify as to the fact that he doesn't want to see his father and why. He can also request to speak privately with the judge in chambers, because it can be a bit nerve-wracking to testify against a parent when they're watching you (and open court in general is a bit daunting for a lot of people).

The judge will also want to hear about the relationship your son has with his father, the fact that his father avoids visitation, and any other facts that tend to support ending the visits. The fact that he gives no notice and expects your son to just go with him whenever tends to show a certain lack of respect for you AND your son, and that could also weigh in your favor.

Unless or until there is a court order that says otherwise, he unfortunately does not have any right to refuse visitation. As the parent, you're expected to make him go, and if you don't, then you're in contempt of court. You could be required to pay the father's expenses related to any planned travel or with bringing a contempt motion, and a judge can enter other penalties. You don't want that. But you can get the order modified.

This site has forms that may be helpful:

https://texaslawhelp.org/resources/changing-family-court-order-modification-forms

Have I answered your question? If any part of my response is unclear, please reply WITHOUT rating so I can clarify. My goal is to provide excellent service, so if I've done that, please give me a 5-star rating before signing out. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you so much! Very helpful. We will be filing that paperwork. Does it have to be filed in the court where the order was issued? It is 250 miles away.

You're very welcome.

It does unfortunately have to be in the same court where the order was entered, but you can file by mail. If there's a hearing, you may have to drive there. It's possible to hire a lawyer who lives near the courthouse to go for you and request that your son testify by video or phone, if you'd prefer. At the same time, if the father doesn't respond to the motion, you might not need a hearing.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you!
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