Children do not always listen to their parents. For example, a child may refuse to clean their room or go to sleep. Similarly, an otherwise obedient child may decide they do not want to visit their access parent, even though a court has ordered the visit. The problem is that this failure to attend an access visit could result in a finding of the custodial parent in contempt for failure to comply with the court order. As can be seen in Funnell v Jackscha, the court must be satisfied that reasonable steps were taken by the parent to have the child comply with the access order. In order to avoid being found in contempt, a custodial parent faced with a disobedient child has a responsibility to encourage the child to attend the access visit. A court may expect a parent faced with this problem to do as follows:
Have a discussion with the child to determine why he or she does not want to go;
Communicate with the other parent to advise of the difficulty and discuss how it might be resolved; and
Offer the child an incentive to go, or some form of discipline should he or she continue to refuse.