Illinois law generally allows both parents to have a relationship with their child after a divorce or separation. However, there is no guarantee that the child is going to cooperate with the terms of a visitation agreement. There are several actions that you may want to take if your son or daughter is hesitant to spend time with his or her other parent.
Is your child in danger?
Your son or daughter may be hesitant to spend time with your former partner because he or she has been a victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Signs of physical abuse may include burn marks, bruises or lacerations on various parts of your child’s body. A person who has been sexually abused may be skittish about being touched or seem anxious around people who are the same gender as the abuser.
It may be a good idea to have your child visit a doctor, therapist or another professional who may be able to find more evidence of potential abuse. It’s important to note that it may not be permissible to violate the terms of a child custody or visitation order based on a hunch alone. Instead, your only recourse may be to ask a judge to temporarily suspend it until your theory can be investigated further.
Is your teen being dramatic?
Older children generally prioritize spending time with their friends over their parents. Therefore, your son or daughter may simply be acting like a normal teenager who is more concerned about going to a party than complying with a court order. In such a scenario, it’s important to empathize with what your teen is going through. However, you also need to be firm about the fact that he or she needs to make time for his or her other parent.
If you have concerns about the terms of a visitation order, it may be best to contact an attorney. Legal counsel may also suggest strategies to help your child look forward to spending time with his or her other parent.