At first, it wouldn’t be able to get done outside a court unless they had an agreement and if they had an agreement that would be filed with the court. If they did not have an agreement and they were both supposed to have time with the child and the child is refusing to go to the parent’s, that’s a different issue than the parent is telling the kid he doesn’t have to go.
This is very fact-driven, and the court is not going to allow either parent to manipulate a child to get them to go with what they want them to go. For instance, a parent could say, “You know what? I don’t want to pay child support, so maybe I’ll have the kid live with me and I’ll ask them for child support.” Well, the other side of it, if the kid has no relationship with the other parent, that’s going to damage them in the future. You have to be really, really careful about what you allow to go on and what you don’t allow to go on and whether you go to court to fix it or not.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.