When parents divorce, they have to figure out an appropriate way to share parental rights and responsibilities. The exact division of parenting time that they have may be the result of direct negotiations with one another or litigation.
In either case, once the courts approve a custody order, both adults must do their best to uphold it. As the children in the family get older, that could be more difficult to do. Teenagers often resent the idea of forced custody or visitation with either parent, as they would rather control their own schedule and spend time online or with their friends.
Can your teenage children refuse to comply with the custody schedule you have established?
Teenage rebellion can lead to enforcement actions
If your teenager says that they won’t go for a visit, you might allow them to cancel once or twice. However, once it becomes a pattern, the situation can start to look like parental alienation. Your ex could potentially go to court and ask for custody enforcement because they have not gotten their parenting time.
The courts might even give them more time with the children because you have not facilitated their parenting time. If your teenager has a strong aversion to seeing their other parent, then you might want to talk with your ex about it and discuss making some adjustments to your parenting plan. Therapy could help resolve any underlying issues. If everyone works together, you may be able to overcome the conflict.
If your ex or your teen remains uncooperative, you may need to go back to court to modify the parenting plan to defend against an enforcement action. Knowing the rules that apply in shared custody arrangements in Illinois will help you navigate the conflicts that arise with your kids and your ex.