Family Code 3042 provides that the court must consider a child’s preference and wishes in determining child custody rights. However, the child must be of sufficient age and have capacity to make an intelligent decision for 3042 to apply. But what exactly does that mean?
Can a Child Skip Visitation Time?
Visitation rights are determined based on the best interest of the child. Family Code 3042 requires that the court consider a child’s opinion when determining visitation rights. However, the court ultimately decides what parental visitation time is in the child’s best interest.
If your child is 14 years old or older, he or she has the right to go to court and speak to the court regarding his or her feelings as to visitation with the parents. The court must consider this when determining visitation rights. Conversely, if your child is under the age of 14, then the child may still be able to address the court as long as the court finds it in the child’s best interest. Basically, it all comes down to what the court feels is in the child’s best interest.
Often, teenagers naturally become more concerned with their social lives and want more control and autonomy. That does not mean that the child can act out or defy a judicial order. When the custodial parent doesn’t allow you to have visitation time with your child, the court may get involved. Unless there are special circumstances, such as the child is sick, the best course of action is for both parents to respect the visitation order. Regardless of the custodial parents’ or even the child’s resentment or other feelings towards the other parent, the child’s well-being suffers when those feelings get in the way of visitation and establishing a healthy relationship with both parents.
When a child reaches 18 years of age, he or she is now legally “an adult” and therefore has full decision-making authority with regards to his or her parental relationships.
Other Factors the Court Considers
In order to modify a valid visitation order, the requesting parent must show that there has been a “change in circumstances” since the final custody order was made. In determining whether or not to modify a visitation order, the court might consider the following:
- Whether the child is exposed to any danger or illegal activity;
- If the current visitation order adversely affects the child’s safety, health, education or general welfare;
Call the Skilled Family Law Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich if You Need Help with Child Custody or Visitation
The child custody attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are experienced and skillful in helping clients with child custody and visitation issues. Our attorneys have been successfully handling family law matters for over 30 years. We can help you with your case now.
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