When Your Child Won’t Cooperate with Your Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is an agreement between divorced parents that enables ex-partners to continue to co-parent. The goal of a parenting plan is to help the child maintain a strong relationship with each parent, while supporting the child’s best interest above all else.
When a child refuses to cooperate with the parenting plan, parents might feel frustrated and angry. While it is physically possible to remove a three-year-old from one parent’s home and carry him to the other parent’s home, similar coercion of an 11-year-old child may be inadvisable, if not impossible.
If you and your ex have agreed on a parenting plan and your child is resisting, here are some things to bear in mind:
- Children change and so does their "best interest” – What might have been appropriate for your child at the time of your divorce might not be working anymore. Review the Parenting Plan with your child and ex-partner every two years to keep it up to date.
- Children act out – If your child is not having his or her emotional needs met following the parents’ divorce, he or she might be taking some anger out on you. Keep cool and try to talk it out.
- Children often prefer friends to parents – If your child consistently resists going to the second parent, it might be because he or she is missing social events. An older child might be missing activities or important social time by shuttling between parents on weekends.
- Children exhibit signs of abuse – When a young child resists going to the second parent, it might be because there is abuse going on. The parent may or may not be the perpetrator, so be sure to check out roommates, stepparents and neighbors in addition to the non-custodial parent.
- New players enter – A child might avoid the second parent if there is a new partner in the picture. If you don’t know, ask. It is crucial that you and your ex have as much information as possible so you know what your child might be feeling.
If your parenting plan is up for review, contact a child custody attorney. For your free consultation call the Buffalo, NY Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis and Associates at 716.886.9600 or contact us online.