When Can a Child Decide They Don’t Want to See a Parent

When Can a Child Decide They Don't Want to See a Parent?

Custody battles can be complex events to work through. Sometimes parents can agree to custody before the court. While at other times, the court must decide on what is in the child’s best interest.

This process can include many factors. A parent may gain sole custody while the other parent has limited rights. Depending on the child’s age, the child may also have a say.

When Can a Child Decide

When Can a Child Decide?

Several factors can determine if the child has a say on visitation by a parent. Your family law attorney can help you navigate this situation.

When Does a Child Have a Say in Custody?

Many people have one misconception that a child can refuse to visit their parents at 12. This assumption is not valid. The child must see their non-custodial parent during the agreed-upon times.

At 12 years old, your child can have a say in who they would prefer to live with going forward. This measure is sometimes called “teenage discretion.” The idea is that a child can make logical decisions about how much time they want to spend with each parent. While this is not a determining factor, it can get considered in a child custody case.

The older the child is, and the more mature the child is, the more input they can have when deciding their own physical custody. The guideline is to consider the child’s level of maturity, their age and other factors.

Legal Emancipation

Another factor is if a child files for a “decree of emancipation.” If the child is over the age of 16, they can file to no longer be under parental control. In cases where it gets granted, the child can make financial, medical, and legal decisions.

Legal emancipation can take place under a few circumstances. Often these decrees get granted if the child gets married or is living on their own. It is up to a judge to decide if the decree is appropriate for the child.

Age of Maturity

In Nevada, as in all states, a child gets considered an adult at 18. At this point, a child can choose not to visit their non-custodial parent. You cannot force them to spend time with you as an adult, so a court order will not get enforced.

However, you may still pay child support to your child until they graduate from high school. The child may also live with their custodial parent and not get required to contact the other parent.

Know Your Rights and Those of Your Child

If the court has not denied you visitation rights to your minor child, you have a right to visitation. 

If the custodial parent denies you these rights or if the child refuses visitation, you can seek help.

Your child should also be aware of their rights. The older the child is, the more say they have in which parent they can visit. The child custody attorneys at The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm can help make sure everyone’s rights get considered.

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