It is not at all uncommon for children, especially adolescents, to harbor ill feelings toward one or both parents after a North Carolina divorce. Some children even refuse to obey the custody order, saying they will not visit the other parent. However, it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure the children comply, and the North Carolina courts state that a parent who does not follow the custody order may be found in contempt of court.
What can a parent do to make the child visit the other parent? According to UNC School of Government, a parent has to “encourage” the child to obey the custody order.
In one case, Grissom v Cohen, the mother claimed that the father did not fulfill his obligation to make their 17-year-old daughter visit her. She stated that the father could have imposed more severe consequences, such as taking the daughter’s cellphone away and forbidding her to spend time with her friends, and that he also alienated their daughter from her by his behavior.
The court considered these facts before ruling in favor of the father:
- The daughter suffered from depression and had a history of self-harm
- The daughter refused to go to her mother’s home
- The father drove the daughter to her mother’s house several times a week, but she refused to stay
- The father encouraged the mother to come to his home to visit their daughter, and she did not
The judge ruled that the father had done everything that was reasonable for him to do, and that any further actions may have negatively affected the daughter’s welfare.