Can a Child Refuse to Visit their Father in Divorce? Exploring Rights and Responsibilities

In principle, the answer to the question of whether a son can refuse to see his father is emphatically NO .

But it would be YES, when there is a serious reason that justifies the son’s refusal to see his father ; Which are the reasons why a parent can lose the right to see a child .

It is common, after a couple breakup , for children who remain under the care and custody of one parent ( usually the mother ) to refuse to see the other (usually the father ).

In most cases, it is the father who suffers from the son’s refusal to be with him, so in this article we deal with the situation that occurs when a son does not want to know anything about his father and refuses to see him. .

But it is important that the child, the father and the mother, are aware of their duty to respect the visitation regime established in the divorce decree .

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What to do when a son refuses to see his father?

In all cases that may arise due to a divorce or breakup of a couple, the motto should be: “A bad settlement is better than a good trial . 

The most important thing is that there is dialogue between the father and the mother . Let them sit down to talk and explain the reasons that lead the son to not want to see the father.

Once the agreement has been reached between the parents, it is advisable to talk to the child . Explain to him, lovingly, that you both want the best for him and need to enjoy his growth and development.

Do not lose sight of the motto that we have told you and, above all, that the main thing is the well-being of the minor (forget your grudges).

We have described an idyllic situation that is very far, in most cases, from reality; but the attempt is already a step forward.

What do I do if there is no agreement and my son does not want to see me?

In the event of a divorce, it is common for the mother (who generally has sole custody of the child) to influence the child to refuse to see his father . In the most extreme cases, this behavior can end up leading to a parental alienation syndrome .

The reasons that usually lead the mother to this manipulation of the children are economic or emotional: your father does not pay your alimony and does not love you; He has a new partner and I don’t want you to have a relationship with her because your mother is me…

Serious mistake .

This attitude of the custodial mother or parent is far from what the child needs: emotional stability for proper development .

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If this manipulation against the father is long-lasting, that is, it is repeated continuously, we explain what you can do.

Failure to comply with the visitation regime is a breach of the divorce decree

Failure to comply with the visitation regime , whatever the cause, by the custodial parent is a  failure to comply with the divorce decree .

The steps you must follow are the following:

1. Reliably require the non-compliant parent

After the failed agreement attempt, you must inform the other parent that it is their obligation to comply with what is established in the regulatory agreement or in the divorce decree.

To record this communication, you must send a burofax or request it through a Notary .

2. Collect evidence that proves non-compliance with the visitation regime

During the time that you are deprived of the right to see your child, you must keep all possible evidence (WhatsApp, messages, email or even witnesses if there are any) that prove the mother’s non-compliance.

3. Try judicial mediation

Before suing, we advise you to request judicial mediation in order to reach a consensus for the well-being of your child.

4. File a claim for execution of a regulatory agreement or ruling

If mediation is impossible, you must file a request for execution before the Court that issued the sentence. The intervention of a lawyer and attorney will be necessary .

The Judge will require the non-compliant party to comply with the sentence and, if non-compliance persists , they may incur the crime of disobedience to authority .

At what age can a son refuse to see his father?

The general rule is that a minor child cannot refuse to see his father, unless there is justified cause that advises that the minor not see his father. That is, except in exceptional situations, the son may only refuse to see his father once he turns 18 and reaches the age of majority.

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Now, the age of the minor must be taken into account to assess this decision.

Children under 10 years old

Children under 10 years old may not want to go to school, do their homework, bathe, see dad…

But the judges consider that a child under 10 years old who refuses to see his father is due to manipulation by his mother, unless there is a serious cause that justifies the refusal.

Children over 10 years old and under 14 years old

In the case of children over 10 years old and under 14 years old, the matter begins to get complicated.

If the child is under 12 years old but is mature enough to express his or her wish, he or she will be heard by the judge , who will be the one who will assess his or her maturity.

From the age of 12, the judge will hear the minor in order to find out the reasons why he does not want to see his father.

In both cases, a judicial examination will be carried out in the presence of only the judge and the prosecutor.

Children over 14 years old

With children over 14 years of age, the issue becomes even more complicated because, from this age onwards, the judge considers that the will and desire of the minor must be taken into account .

However, at any age of the minor, it will be the judge who determines the appropriate solution regarding the child’s refusal to see the father.

Children over 18 years of age

From the age of majority, children will be able to decide whether or not they want to see their father , but respecting their duties towards their parents.

The importance of having expert advice

If you are suffering from this situation, it is best to seek the advice of a lawyer specializing in family law .

Expert family lawyers have extensive experience in all types of conflicts between parents and children and will know how to find the best solution for your particular case.

In situations like this it is important to take measures to resolve it as soon as possible , since if more time passes the situation usually worsens and is more complex to solve.

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