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Who goes to jail if the child refuses to visit a parent?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2015 | Family Law

Well, if you are before Judge Lisa Gorcyca in Oakland County, Michigan, the kids go to jail.  In a highly contentious divorce between Omer and Maya Tsimhoni involving their three children, ages 9, 10, and 14, the children refused to have a relationship with their dad. The 14 year old child stated he had seen the father hit the mom and that formed the basis for his refusal.  Judge Gorcyca put the children in the Oakland Children’s Village on June 24, 2015, where they could potentially have stayed until they were 18 years of age.  Subsequently, she then sent them to summer camp.  The link below shows the initial order that incarcerated the children.

In Florida, the courts are governed by the best interests of the minor children when trying to determine what parenting plan is best. Normally in Florida, it is not the child that is punished, it is the parent. The parent who is found to have caused a child to refuse to visit with the other parent or to alienate that parent, can very well be held in contempt.  If the Court makes certain findings and rules that a parent is in direct criminal contempt, then that parent may be sent to jail. At least in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, the judges tend to order counseling from the very beginning of a situation like the one in Michigan. It appears from the contempt order that she had just done so after 5 years of litigation.