Do I Have to Make My Son Visit His Father?

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“My 13 year old son does not want to go see his dad on a court-ordered visit. I have tried everything I can but he
still does not want to go. Dad says he (the son ) has no say so on anything until he is 18. Do I have to make him go?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

It is a very common misbelief that at the age of 12 or 13 a child can choose whether or not to go on visitation or, indeed, with which parent they would like to live. However it is just that – a misbelief.

So yes, the father is right that legally the son has no say.

If your son refuses to go with his father, than you should arrange for father and son to take part in counselling together during the alotted visitation time, so that they can work out any issues. After all, he will be his father for the rest of his life, whether he likes it or not.

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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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