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What age can children decide to not follow a court order?

(7 Posts)
Enfyshedd Sun 30-Sep-12 22:57:37

DSS1 is 13 and doesn't like going to his mother's. Court order has been in place for 3 years since the divorce alternating 2 & 3 nights a week (split over 2 sessions) for DSS1 & 2. DSS1 is desperate for the time when he doesn't have to go (he already tries stalking DP & I on the long weekends and will come home before pick up time if he wakes up early enough). At what age can he decide not to go to hers anymore?

In addition, we're thinking that DSS2 (6) will probably start kicking up a stink about going to his mother's once DSS1 stops going. Any suggestions?

STIDW Sun 30-Sep-12 23:13:39

Court orders remain effective until children reach 16 and before that the parents would need to agree a change or apply to the courts for a variation. The views of a thirteen year old carry significant weight, but it's important to understand the family context and rationale behind children's opinions otherwise you can make a rod for your own back.

For example, a teenager might play one parent off against the other. Also teenagers often think spending time with parents or extended family is uncool or that they don't want to go on the usual family holiday but enjoy it or appreciate it later if they are coerced.

Collaborate Sun 30-Sep-12 23:48:49

I agree with STIDW as usual.

babybarrister Mon 01-Oct-12 06:40:10

Ditto!

MOSagain Mon 01-Oct-12 17:20:24

snap grin

Enfyshedd Mon 01-Oct-12 20:06:01

That's going to be one disappointed DSS1 - he'd picked somewhere it was 15 (I thought that was wrong).

slappywappydoodah Tue 02-Oct-12 13:02:35

I would suggest that you apply to the court for a variation, though your DSS1 will need to give an actual reason for not wanting to go. Should your DSS1 have an actual reason, you may also be ableto vary the order for DSS2 either now or later.

When I say actual reason, I mean something other than "I don't like her" or "the food is bad" etc. Best practice for courts at present is to try to keep contact going with both parents for as long as possible unless there is a particular risk/danger/potential adverse effect to the child.

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