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Name: Lisal New Member  
Title: Walking Law? 13 year old does not want to visit father
Many years ago I heard something about a "walking law" - apparently it was the rule where kids over the age of 13 can dictate which parent they want to live with, and where they want to be.

My son and I moved to Ottawa from London 6 months ago and in order to come here, I had to agree to faciltate a visit with his father once per month. Which I really had fully intended on honouring...however...

My ex has stopped paying child support, and he rarely, rarely calls. (We went for over a month and a half without a telephone call until I cracked and tracked him down!) Most times when he does call, he ensures to tell me exactly what he thinks of me. (And it ain't very complimentary!)

To say that my son and his father do not have a close relationship would be an understatement. My ex is known for broken promises, hostility and just plain old negativity and yuck. Now that we've moved away and moved on, my son is thriving, enjoying his life and has had enough of the disappointments and aggravations. He does not want to see his father at this time.

Barring the fact that I'm not entirely sure this is healthy, for now, does anyone know how can I document my son's wishes in order to make them official?

My ex is threatening to "order" us back to London if I don't facilitate visits - but why would I force my son to visit his father when he clearly doesn't want to just because he's bullying us?

Not only that - my first responsibility is to put a roof over my son's head and food on the table - and like everyone else out there am struggling to do it. It's Maslow's heirarchy of needs - my priority is not to spend my money facilitating a visit that my son does not want to have.

I'm looking for a lawyer, but this process is not easy - meantime, I'd love to know if anyone has any info in this regard.

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Name: Glenda New Member
I have heard that once a child reaches the age of 12, they can tell the Court which parent they prefer to reside with, but it has to be done thru the Court. You can not take it upon yourself to withhold visitation.
Name: madalex Member
I do not know if the laws of Canada allow a 13 year old to decide with which parent he wants to live, but no US state has such a law. In most US states, children don't usually get to decide which parent they want to live with until age 18 (although their input becomes more important as they age).

Also, I am sure you understand that child support and visitation are separate issues. You cannot withhold visitation just because your ex is not paying support.

Your 13 year old son may not want to visit his father, but he probably doesn't want to go school or eat his vegtables either and you make him do those things. Having a relationship with both parents is pretty high up there in the hierarchy of needs that any child should have. You need to get over your bitterness towards you ex and actively encourage your son to visit him, rather than enable and give in to your son's desires.
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