My son is 16, has a job and his own car. Can I still force him to visit his mother?

When dealing with custody and visitation issues, the specifics can vary greatly depending on local laws, court orders, and individual circumstances. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Legal Custody Arrangements: The court order or custody agreement typically dictates visitation rights. If there is a court-mandated visitation schedule, both parents are generally required to adhere to it. This can include enforcing visitation even if the child resists, although the methods to enforce this can vary.

  2. Child’s Age and Preference: As children get older, their preferences are often given more weight in custody and visitation decisions. At 16, a judge may consider your son's preferences, especially if he has a job and responsibilities that might conflict with the visitation schedule.

  3. Communication and Mediation: Open communication with your son about the importance of maintaining a relationship with his mother might help. If there are underlying issues causing resistance, family therapy or mediation might be beneficial to address and resolve these issues.

  4. Legal Advice: Consulting with a family law attorney can provide clarity on your rights and obligations under your specific circumstances. An attorney can help navigate the legal system and possibly seek modifications to the custody arrangement if necessary.

  5. Enforcement Options: If a parent is unable to comply with court-ordered visitation due to a child's refusal, the parent may need to return to court to seek assistance. However, forcing a teenager to comply can be complex and might require the intervention of a court or a mediator.

In summary, while you may have a legal obligation to ensure your son visits his mother, practical enforcement at his age can be challenging. Consulting with a legal professional can provide guidance tailored to your situation.

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