My child doesn't want to spend time with the other parent

Your options depend on whether there's a court order in place about contact arrangements with the other parent.

There's no court order

If there’s no court order in place, the child doesn't have to spend any time with the other parent if they don’t want to.

It will be up to the other parent to apply for an order if they’re not happy with this.

There is a court order

If there is a court order in place, try to find out why the child doesn’t want to be with the other parent.

If it’s a safety issue, then you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

Your legal adviser may suggest that you urgently apply to the courts to control or change the nature of the contact between your child and the other parent.

You should try to follow the terms of an order unless there’s a very good reason not to. You may be held in contempt of court if you break an order and the other parent applies to enforce it. This may lead to a fine or more serious penalty.

If the child is not at risk, but regularly refuses to go, you should consider applying to change the order to suit the new circumstances. The older the child is, the more weight the court will give to their wishes.

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