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Child Refuses Visitation

(18 Posts)
FailedBlogger Mon 04-Dec-17 14:30:58

Afternoon All,
First time posting but I need some advice.

My child is 7 years old, Autistic and over the last few months has refused to visit their Father as per the court order.

The child has a list of reasons including a fear of visiting the tower block in which their Father lives in and feelings of being unloved and unvalued by the Father.

The father had suggested "we" force the child to go. I was not willing to do so and suggested we work together to address the child's issues as not to further damage their relationship. This was very specific to the child's ASD needs. That hasn't happened as the Father was unwilling to work with me and as a result I've experienced verbal abuse and accusations of negatively influencing the child.

The child still doesn't want to go. Still refuses. I can honestly say that I have tried everything in my power to encourage, motivate and facilitate this relationship in a healthy way.

I am not afraid of any legal consequences as I've done nothing wrong but for now...what do I do????

BlackeyedSusan Mon 04-Dec-17 16:33:13

try and get outside help to encourage child to go. couselling through school? school nurse? autism support services?

RainbowWish Mon 04-Dec-17 16:40:26

Hi I am in this exact situation almost.
I am now having to pay to go back to court to get a new order etc. I am stressed out.
But my lawyer said under no sircumstance am I legally allowed to force her to go. I have to try convince her any way possible but if she refuses end of story.
I don't really have any advice.
I just wanted to say i understand the frustration and concern you are feeling.

FailedBlogger Mon 04-Dec-17 18:19:30

Thank you for you suggestions. I'm already looking into getting outside help including family mediation. Unfortunately I don't have any autism support but will make use of the services I'm aware of locally.

FailedBlogger Mon 04-Dec-17 18:22:08

Rainbow Wish, I'm sorry you're going through this too. I know the stress you're talking about. Based on what you've said I think I should seek legal advice. I just hope it's not costly. Thank you for sharing I feel like no one gets it but me sigh.

Starlight2345 Mon 04-Dec-17 19:33:30

Would dad take DC out for tea somewhere that works for your DC to start to rebuild relationship.

FailedBlogger Mon 04-Dec-17 19:49:09

Starlight I suggested this. He agreed but on the day the child actually asked if he could stay with him for a night. This angered Dad because he felt he was being mucked about. All I got was verbal abuse and him hanging up on me.

There is so much more I want to say but I don't wanted to get unbiased views. It's hard.

NorthernSpirit Tue 05-Dec-17 12:53:09

You should do what you can to facilitate contact with the dad.

Can you get to the bottom of why the child doesn’t want to go.

If you have a court ordered contact arrangement then you are breaking the law by stopping contact. If you do stop contact you can be fined, given community service or imprisioned. Please do what you can to make it happen. The father should be working with you on this.

FailedBlogger Tue 05-Dec-17 16:24:08

Northern Spirit, I have done all I can to facilitate contact. I will not physically force my child to go with his Father. I haven't stopped contact at all. The child has refused to go. The Father will not work with me or the child to resolve this.

NorthernSpirit Tue 05-Dec-17 16:48:29

What happens when your child refuses to go to school? Or refuses to brush their teeth or go to bed?

This isn’t just for you to facilitate, the father needs to work with you.

There’s a reason your child doesn’t want to go. At 7 years old they are too young to make this decision themselves. If you stop contact the child’s fears will become worse (as you’ve reinforced those fears). Try to work through it with the dad.

Stopping contact should be a last resort and judges don’t look favourably on it.

Zoomaa Tue 05-Dec-17 16:55:46

Northern Spirit is completely wrong in both fact and law.

Your child will not be forced into contact they don't want. When my child refused contact we looked at trying to work lower stress resolutions and contact was dramatically reduced for a year.

There was no comeback on me as I was obviously working to facilitate contact. Facilitate doesn't mean "force", it means "encourage" which is what you are doing.

Forcing a child to see a parent is not in the same ballpark as forcing a child to brush their teeth so just ignore that OP

Zoomaa Tue 05-Dec-17 16:56:34

Northern the OP isn't stopping contact and no court will see it that way.

FWIW my child was 3

MonaChopsis Tue 05-Dec-17 17:23:37

My DD often refuses to see her Dad. I have not enforced contact, though I have said to him that if he chooses to enforce it, I won't physically stop him... But then he has to deal with the consequences, of course, which historically hasn't been a strong point of his.

I have found with DD that there is generally a reason each time contact stops (eg last time he mocked her appearance), but it often takes a couple of months of no contact before she can talk to me about it. Once it has been talked through, she starts to miss him, and wants to resume contact on a limited basis.

It's not ideal, but I don't know what else I can do except support her, and believe her.

FailedBlogger Tue 05-Dec-17 20:57:48

Thank you Zoomaa for sharing your experience and for the advise. I had suspected that many wouldn't understand this situation. The irony of this is that having an Autistic child is no easy fate. When the child is with the Father I too get respite from caring for him so it is literally of no benefit to me to encourage the choices he had made.

Northern I'm not new to this situation so some of things you've stated are blatantly obvious. There are numerous reasons why the child doesn't want to go. All of those reasons are valid. The Father refuses to acknowledge any of them. That is his right but as I have explained to him you cannot do the same thing over and over and expect different results. My child is Autistic and so that also means, as you're probably aware, that nothing is straight forward.

I resent comments that suggest that I may be reinforcing my child's fear simply because those comments aren't factual but I'm not here to defend myself, because frankly I don't need to. I'm trying to help my child. That said I thank you for sharing you thoughts.

FailedBlogger Tue 05-Dec-17 21:03:02

Mona it sounds like you're doing all you can. It may not be ideal but you're doing something.

MadMags Tue 05-Dec-17 21:03:28

You don't have to keep saying "the child" and "my child", you've said "his" in one of your posts upthread so probably easier to just say son! smile

I would say that there's not a lot you can do except continue to ensure ex is aware that you're not blocking contact, preferably by email so if you do go back to court, he can't make unfounded accusations!

Has he specifically said that feels under valued/unloved? Have you asked him what makes him feel like that?

RainbowWish Wed 06-Dec-17 23:08:07

My dd is 8 year old and I have consulted a lawyer over this same situation.
While there is a court order and I should do my utmost to ensure the child goes if I physically lift her/ carry her/ take her I have been told I am legally not allowed to do this as it breaks the law and her rights.

Op may advice would be to get a diary and write down the dates of visits etc and whether they took place/ daughter refused/ dad sick etc so you have a record that you can review contact.
Also keep texts emails with dad so you can prove you have tried to work with him.

I am now having to go to court with ex.
I feel your pain

NameWithChange Thu 07-Dec-17 21:21:21

As I understand it you are not breaking the law. I was told that my responsibility was to 'make the children available' Not force them to go.

It sounds as if you have tried in lots of appropriate ways.

Do you actually want your child to go? I just wondered, not judging at all.

If it was me I would focus on getting all the support in place to help my child through this difficult phase but drop the subject with them for a while and let the dust settle.

A few short trips and the enticement of Christmas presents may get the ball rolling again.

wine for you. It is hell dealing with shit Ex's when children don't want to go.

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