There are many issues that can regularly come up after your divorce, especially if you share custody with your children. It can be difficult for children to split their time between two homes. You and other Missouri residents may wonder how the legal system works if your children say they do not want to visit the other parent.

If your children are facing an extended visit with your ex, such as staying at his or her house for several weeks during the summer, can you simply refuse to send them if they are adamant that they do not want to go? This can be a heartbreaking and difficult situation, but as FindLaw explains, there are serious legal consequences to violating a custody and visitation order. Family law courts state that it is important for children to have a relationship with both parents. Often, children do not want to switch places because they may find spending time with the other parent boring, they may be anxious about new situations or they may be trying to exert their independence by “digging in their heels.”

Other instances, however, may rightfully give you cause for concern. Your ex may have a history of domestic violence or substance abuse, and you may be concerned about your children’s safety while at his or her home. It is important to keep the lines of communication open with your children. If you suspect their well-being is at stake, you may be able to have the visitation order changed by petitioning the family court.

Since this topic can be emotional and complex, you should understand that this post is not meant as legal advice.