Is it legal for a teenager to disobey the court-ordered child custody schedule?
Is it legal for a teenager to refuse to comply with the court-ordered child custody and/or parent-time schedule?
In Utah, there is no express criminal code provision that makes it a crime for a minor child to refuse to comply with a court’s child custody and/or parent time orders.
Now there are provisions in the Utah Code for punishing noncompliance with court orders which are known as contempt of court sanctions, and of whether a child can be held in contempt of court for refusing to comply with child custody or parent time orders has never come up in Utah. I have researched this question in other jurisdictions, and it appears to me that a child can be held in contempt of court for violating child custody and/or parent time (visitation) orders. Indeed, I have tried to have a child held in contempt for this very thing (i.e., noncompliance with child custody and/or parent time orders), but I have yet to see a court hold a child in contempt for it.
In my experience, the fact is that when children–particularly teenagers–refuse to reside with or spend time with a parent as court ordered, the court will typically throw its hands in the air and say that the child has reached a point in his/her agent autonomy where it is practicably impossible to force a child to comply and/or that trying to use the powers of the court to force a child to comply would do the child more harm than good.
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