Visitation

questions & answers

Question: My son is 11. My son doesnt want to visit his father as often as outlined in the agreement, because his doesnt feel comfortable at his fathers house. He comes home very upset after his visits, because his father talks bad about me, according to my son, every day. He says speaking up wont help, because he wont simply stop for an hour or two and then continue again.Can he choose not to see his father as oulined in the parenting schedule? And if so, how should he/we take go about it?

Answer:

The following is provided for general information only. To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, contact an attorney directly. Generally, under ARS 25-408(A), if the other parent is entitled to parenting time by way of a divorce decree or custody agreement, that parent has the right to exercise visitation with the children unless “the court finds, after a hearing, that the parenting time would endanger seriously the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.” State law entitles a parent to reasonable rights of parenting time as long as it remains in the best interest of the child. There are many factors that the court will consider in making a determination, including those listed in ARS 25-403, such as domestic violence, child neglect, substance abuse, and the criminal conduct of either or both parents, child’s relationship with parents, child and parent’s wishes and so on. Based on the best interest of child a parent may request to change a court order establishing visitation (also known as “Parenting Time” in Arizona) concerning the modification of parenting time. The child’s wishes are also taken into consideration, but that does not mean that child gets to choose where to live or when to stop visitation. The child’s opinion will be considered along with the other factors, especially when the child is of meaningful age and maturity, i.e. a teenager. However, if the reason that the minor wishes to stop visitation is due to endangerment of the minor, a lawyer may be appointed and a petition to the court made in order to stop visitation. Conditions and procedures for modifying a parenting time order can be found in ARS 25-411.
Some joint custody agreements have a portion which directs how the parties can change the visitation schedule through the court, but a minor may not simply stop visitation once they reach a certain age. Please see A.R.S. § 25-403 for reference. You can also find additional information on this website about Child Custody, Visitation, and Parental Rights and Obligations. Title 25 of the Arizona Revised Statutes includes information on child custody, visitation, child support, and other topics related to Marital and Domestic Relations and may be used as an additional resource.  Information and limited assistance may also be available at online self-help centers or at your local court.

QUESTIONS

  • My son is 11. My son doesnt want to visit his father as often as outlined in the agreement, because his doesnt feel comfortable at his fathers house. He comes home very upset after his visits, because his father talks bad about me, according to my son, every day. He says speaking up wont help, because he wont simply stop for an hour or two and then continue again.Can he choose not to see his father as oulined in the parenting schedule? And if so, how should he/we take go about it?

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