• Child's Preferences Do Not Override Court-Ordered Visitation
  • December 8, 2006 | Authors: James H. Feldman; Rhonda E. deFreitas
  • Law Firm: Jenner & Block LLP - Chicago Office
  • It is widely believed that children of divorce, as they near the age of majority, have the freedom to choose whether they want to spend time with one or the other of their divorced parents. In fact, some courts shy away from a formal custody determination for such children, reasoning that no one can tell a 16- or 17-year-old whom they are going to live with; at that age, it is pretty much up to them. But such thinking on the part of a parent can lead to trouble, as one mother learned recently when the Illinois Appellate Court held that her failure to force her children to visit their father against their wishes constituted contempt of court and visitation abuse and ordered her to pay the father's attorney fees. In re Marriage of Charous, 855 N.E. 2d 953, 2006 WL 2798537 (Ill. App. 2d Dist. September 13, 2006).