Bob is the co-chairman of the Family Law department and the Litigation department of Obermayer. He was the firm’s managing partner for 30 years and is still a member of the firm’s...Read More by Author
Child Custody – “I Don’t Want to Go!”
“I don’t want to go! I want to stay with you!” If you are divorced with children chances are you’ve heard these words. There are many cases where a child won’t go with the other parent whether it is for a weekend or a dinner or a vacation. Maybe the child’s afraid of the other parent. Maybe the child’s having a fight with the other parent. Maybe the child is manipulating both parents. If a child doesn’t want to go with the other parent, what can you do?
Whatever the reason, unless it concerns an abuse situation, if you do not try to get your child to go with the other parent it could be a mistake. Under the Pennsylvania Child Custody Code you are supposed to encourage your children to go with the other parent. If you do not encourage and make an effort it could be detrimental to your custody arrangements.
If you have young children, it could be difficult to get them to go with the other parent. As they get older, however, it could be problematic. The parent may literally be unable to do anything, and probably in that instance the court may not be as concerned. But if it is a younger child, the court is going to be concerned. If you have a stubborn child you need to make every effort to see that the visitation takes place. Conversely, if visitation did not happen, you should be able to demonstrate to the court that you made a valid effort to enforce the custody arrangements.