Parenting orders are made based on what the Court believes to be in the best interests of the child. Your child’s views are considered by the Court, taking into account their age and maturity, but their wishes are not the only thing the Court considers.
Sometimes your child just doesn’t want to do what the court decides, maybe because their relationship with a parent has changed or just because they have ‘something better’ to do.
If you don’t follow the parenting order without a ‘reasonable’ excuse you may be subject to Court imposed penalties; despite being upsetting, reluctance to have contact with the other parent is not usually considered a ‘reasonable’ excuse.
You should encourage your child to spend time with the other parent, but it is also important to understand why your child is unwilling to do so. If you have genuine fears for the health and safety of your child in the other parent’s care, contact a care professional.
For more information about parenting matters after separation, please phone our office on (08) 8410 9494 or email our Family Law Associate Lawyer Ellie Douglas on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Written by Stefania Scarcella, Law Graduate Paralegal.