Does your child not want to stay with the non-custodial parent?

Rather than your son or daughter wanting to move in with your former spouse, she or he may not want to visit the non-custodial parent. You want your child to have a relationship with both parents, so how do you tackle this issue?

FamilyEducation offers insights that could benefit your entire family. Use the following tips to preserve your relationship with your child as well as with the other parent.

Understand why your child does not want to go

One of the first (and best) things to do in this situation is to determine why your child refuses to visit the other parent. It could be that your son or daughter does not have a good relationship with the non-custodial parent. Or, your child may sense the tension between you and the other parent, making him or her reluctant to leave. Also, anxiety may keep your child in your home.

Know that parental alienation may be at play 

Your former spouse may bad-mouth you in front of your kids to get them to take sides, which is parental alienation. If this is the case and your child does not respond to your ex’s attempts the way your former spouse expects, it may make your child hesitant to want to spend more time with the other parent. On the other hand, it may be you who engages in parental alienation, either intentionally or unintentionally. In either case, Colorado courts do not view parental alienation favorably.

Recognize that your children may not feel reassured 

Your child’s hesitation to leave may stem from a lack of reassurance either on your part or because of your former spouse. For example, your kids may not feel that the noncustodial parent can take care of them the way you can. You should also let your kids know that you are OK when they stay with the noncustodial parent.