How do we deal with an unruly child during visitation?

Divorce attorney Jason BowmanQuestion:

My daughter, who lives out of state with her mother, is out of control with her behavior. She physically threatens people, ignores curfews and was even arrested for shoplifting.

She visits my wife and I during the summer and now the mother says she has to stay with me because of her behavior. But her actions are so outlandish that we don’t want to retain full custody of her and allow her to stay more than the summer break. What are our options?


First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice in the state of New York, so I am unable to provide you with any specific answers to your question as I am unaware of all the facts and laws that may affect your case.

First of all, you should speak to an attorney in your jurisdiction to see what your options are as it relates to the child and with regards to custody. Your situation is unique because generally most of the people I talk to want more time with their children and not less. You do have a very unique situation that you are faced with, however, especially given your daughter’s behavior.

It does appear that your daughters’ behavior grew worse when she was with her mother, so it may be beneficial to the daughter to enroll in counseling to deal with the anger that she is displaying and to have a parent in her life who is willing to undergo the process with her. I would advise you again to speak with a professional in your area with regards to your option in this case.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kent., office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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