The breakdown of a relationship and changes to families are stressful for parents and children. These experiences are even more acute and distressing when a parent is told that the children will not spend time with them.
What is causing this?
It is important to look at all the circumstances, and quick blame of the other parent is seldom helpful. The difficulties may relate to a child needing time to adjust to change or wanting to express control of a situation in which they have previously had little power. Developmental considerations for the child should be taken into account, as the reluctance could be part of the “stage” they are in. It is important also to critically assess if there are underlying issues about conduct and risk informing the child’s behavior.
Is this just about influence by a parent?
The attitudes and insights of parents about their responsibilities to the child will be considered in assessing what is in the best interests of the child. If the children are old enough, their views will be considered but along with factors which might be seen to influence those views.
What can I do?
Engaging in child focused, adult discussions about what is happening is a good first step. Sometimes the assistance of a counselor or therapist for the child is also useful. The consequences for a child of the loss of a relationship with a parent are great. Ensuring the engagement of qualified and experienced experts to assist in trying to resolve these difficulties is an important process. Your experienced family lawyer can assist in this and advise as to when it is necessary to place these matters before the Court.