Can I be held in contempt if the kids are refusing to go for access?  Can they be physically forced to go?


father-holding-childs-hand  parent hold child refusing to go

If there was ever a time when you need a lawyer, it is when facing a contempt motion. The judge can throw you in jail, for a significant period of time, impose large fines, or order other serious consequences. You need a good lawyer to advise and represent you to make sure the right facts are before the court. The court order for access requires you to do everything in your power to support the children having a relationship with their father. That entails telling them that they have to go. If that does not work, then you should have arranged for counseling or programs to assist them with their feelings toward their father.


The judge will also want evidence that you are not subtly suggesting to the children that it is not ok for them to go with their father. Once your ex has established that the access did not happen, it is up to you to show that it was not possible for it to happen. Judges do not think that children aged 9 and 11 should have the final say on these types of issues. They may have input, but if there are problems, then someone has to arrange a way for the children to express their feelings, while at same time figuring out how to make the access work.


If you want more information about giving a children a voice in family law matters, listen to this podcast.  You can also read this webpage.

For more information on these, and other family law issues,  get a copy of this easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law. It goes over these matters in more detail, describes the court process and lists the most common ways to get into trouble in family court (with some advice to get out of trouble again).


© John P. Schuman 2012-2015