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Can a Child Refuse Visitation in Colorado?

Can a Child Refuse Visitation in Colorado?

Visitation rights in Colorado are determined by a combination of state laws and court decisions

The rights and well-being of children are at the forefront of divorce and family law matters in Colorado. When it comes to child custody and visitation in Colorado, one common question that arises is whether a child has the authority to refuse visitation with one of their parents. It’s a sensitive issue that requires a deep understanding of the legal framework in Colorado. Let’s dive into more child visitation rights in the state of Colorado and explore the circumstances surrounding a child’s refusal to visit with a parent. Understanding the legal perspective on this matter is crucial for parents, guardians, and legal professionals navigating the challenges of family law in Colorado.

If you’re worried about child custody and visitation rights, submit a free case evaluation to our attorneys or give us a call at 720.594.7360.

Visitation Rights in Colorado 

When it comes to navigating the complexities of child custody and visitation arrangements in Colorado, understanding visitation rights is paramount. Visitation rights in Colorado are determined by a combination of state laws and court decisions, all with the best interests of the child in mind. Parents and legal guardians involved in custody disputes must be well-informed about the factors that influence visitation decisions, including the child’s age, relationship with each parent, and the ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment. 

Colorado law recognizes the importance of maintaining strong parent-child relationships even after a divorce or separation. To achieve this, the state encourages shared parenting responsibilities and visitation arrangements that prioritize the child’s emotional and physical well-being. It’s essential for parents in Colorado to understand that visitation rights extend beyond the traditional notions of weekend visits; they encompass a range of options, from supervised visitation to joint custody. If you’re a parent seeking clarity on what to do if your child refuses visitation, it’s crucial to understand the visitation rights of that parent so you do not act against the court. 

Child Refusing Visitation of a Parent 

The family dynamic changes and evolves over time whether you’ve had to deal with a divorce and family law matter or not. Sometimes, as kids of divorce grow up, their needs and desires might also change. In order to protect the best interests of the child, Colorado courts evaluate various factors to determine the best course of action when a child refuses visitation: 

  • Parent Influence: In family law matters, sometimes one parent overinfluences a child’s feelings about their other parent. A child refusing visitation often stems from one parent’s words and behaviors around the child. The courts in Colorado will address if the child came to their visitation refusal on their own or with a strong parental influence. 
  • Age & Maturity of the Child: In tune with family’s needs changing over time, the age and maturity of the child can certainly play a role in why they are refusing visitation with a parent. The older the child is, the more influence they may have in visitation arrangements. However, until the age of 18, children must comply with court-ordered visitation. 
  • Reasons for Refusing: The courts will evaluate the reasons why a child is refusing visitation with one parent or the other. Some concerns are very valid and need to be addressed, like feeling uncomfortable or unsafe in the current arrangement. Courts must address these concerns and act accordingly. 

Read Helpful Tips: The Ultimate Guide to Child Custody in Colorado

Legal Actions For a Child Refusing Visitation 

In the state of Colorado, child custody and visitation orders must be followed as is until the child turns 18, or there is an official legal change to the order. If your child is refusing visitation with a parent they are ordered to see, there are two main pathways to mitigate this: 

  • Court Enforcement:Both parents are required to encourage the child to have a relationship with the other parent and abide by the parenting time schedule. If a child is refusing to abide by the parenting time schedule and a parent is not encouraging the child to follow it, there could be legal actions taken against them, including being held in contempt of the court
  • Custody Modification: When the child’s visitation refusal is based on serious issues like neglect or abuse, the courts may re-evaluate the entire child custody arrangement. The custody arrangement can be modified as such to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. 

Responding to Child Visitation Refusals 

Parenthood doesn’t come with a guide, so it can be extra challenging to know what to do when your child is refusing visitation with one of their parents. On one hand, as the custodial parent you need to uphold the court’s orders, but on the other side it can be hard to see your child distraught at the thought of visitation with a parent. If your child is refusing visitation, here are a few things you can try to address it: 

  • Communicate Openly: Foster an environment that encourages open and transparent dialogue with your child. The courts require that parents encourage a relationship with the other parent. By gaining a deeper insight into the factors behind their reluctance to spend time with their other parent, you can effectively address their apprehensions and anxieties.
  • Mental Health Services: When a child’s visitation refusal comes from emotional or psychological reasons, consider counseling or therapy so the child can better cope and have a positive dynamic with both parents. 
  • Mediation: Mediation is a useful family law tool where a neutral third party helps to work out the issues with the visitation arrangement. Mediation aims to reach a mutually beneficial solution for the child and parents alike. 
  • Legal Counsel: If your child refusing visitation with a parent continues on with no resolution in sight, obtain legal counsel with an experienced divorce and family law attorney to help you through the next phase of the journey. 

Working With Colorado Child Custody and Visitation Attorneys 

When a child declines visitation with a parent in Colorado, it presents a multifaceted challenge that necessitates careful consideration of the child’s well-being, the underlying reasons for their reluctance, and the legal ramifications involved. Collaborative efforts between both parents are crucial in identifying constructive solutions that prioritize the child’s emotional and physical welfare. The primary objective of family law is to establish a nurturing living environment that facilitates meaningful relationships with both parents, ensuring the child’s overall health and happiness.

The child custody attorneys at Colorado Legal Group have the experience you need when dealing with your child refusing visitation with your ex. Whether you are just starting your journey navigating your child’s visitation refusal or know you need to go back to court, contact Colorado Legal Group today