Written by: Claire Naidu & Co, Lawyers and tadiators (Gungahlin Family Lawyers and Canberra Family Lawyers)
We have clients ask us what to do if their child starts to say that they do not want to see their mum or that they do not want to see their dad.
What can I do if my child does not want to see the other parent?
There are a number of things you may want to do before deciding what to do if such statements are made to you. And it is important to do your research and obtain proper legal advice before making a significant decision about care arrangements for your child if there is likely not to be agreement from the other parent.
You should consider possible why your child is stating they do not want to see the other parent. Sometimes children say things to their parents because they believe it will please them or they are trying to appease them. Other times, it is more serious. It important to be able to discern what situation you are faced with, especially if there is a risk posed to your child from the other parent. Either way, you will need to find out about your rights and also consider what the consequences could be on the child to suddenly stop spending time with the other parent or have that time changed (e.g. supervision) or reduced.
If there are parenting orders in place, you are required to abide by the time allocated in the order and failure to do so may be found to be a breach of the Court order. If you would like to make changes to the orders, or their are immediate concerns, we recommend that you obtain urgent legal advice.
Our office (Claire Naidu & Co, Lawyers and Mediators (Gungahlin Family Lawyers and Canberra Family Lawyers) can talk to you about making an urgent Court application if you feel you need need urgent orders, or we can discuss alternative options (for example, such as referrals) to see if there are other suitable avenues for you to explore before taking the Court route as the court route may not be the best option for you and your child.
It is important to get as much information as possible to ensure you can make an informed decision and ultimately make the right decision for your child for both the short and long term. Whilst it can be important to take into account your child’s age, it is also important to consider the child’s level of understanding and capacity to comprehend possible consequences of their statements.
Claire Naidu & Co, Lawyers and Mediators (Gungahlin Family Lawyers and Canberra Family Lawyers) see firsthand the consequences of parents withholding their child from the other parent and the Court may not look kindly upon parents who prevent a child from having a relationship with the other parent, depending on the situation and circumstances. It is important for you to know that there can be significant consequences to withholding a child from the other parent.
If a child states they do not want to see the other parent, to ensure you do the right and best thing for your child, we strongly encourage you to obtain legal advice as early as possible before taking any drastic action that could have long term consequences. We are available for a free telephone consultation. Click here for our contact details.