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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Teen's Right to Choose Visitation

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: IN
    Once our daughter turned 13 my ex decided to tell our daughter that it was her decision when and if she wanted to have parenting time with me. Consequently I ended up missing my Thanksgiving visitation on her 13th year because she refused to come and her mother told me she was old enough to make that decision.

    In the end I fought against it. We mediated in my attorney’s office. Three hours later, 6 tape recorded conversations and her firing her attorney as they walked outside of my attorney’s office. I was able to get the next two Thanksgivings plus her to admit that she did not facilitate visitation.

    Now at 15 they have come up with a new ploy. Supposedly our daughter has acquired her own attorney with the help of maternal grandfather. Plus my ex told me that the attorney told our daughter that she does not have to have parenting time with me anymore. That she herself is not refusing me visitation and that she has talked to our daughter about the fact that I have my rights and that she needs to respect them. Right!!!! Then I asked her if she knew why our daughter did not want to come with me. I asked her if it was my wife and she said that’s part of it. She said you know what the problem is and you know how to fix it.

    I asked her if the attorney was going to contact me and she said no. Then I said is he filing paperwork in court and she no.

    I stood there and our 15 yr old told me as she stood in her mother’s living room that next year she could just tell me to F off and she did not have to go with me. Weird I thought the attorney told her she didn’t have to go now????

    I know that our daughter is mad at my wife and I because we found out the her boyfriend is trying to get her to do things we do not think is in her best interest so I have curtailed anything between them except for phone conversations. I refuse to watch my daughter being physically groped by a 16 yr old. My wife also had a problem with her when she called my wife a C and my wife told her that she was not going to be called that. Other than my wife telling her that there was no more mention of the instance.

    I believe that our daughter is fabricating issues at home with her mother and I have evidence of this.

    So I have filed contempt charges against my ex for not facilitating visitation. People use to say that a child did not have the choice at 15 to make the decision to visit the NCP or not.

    Now people are telling me that judges will set with them and let them have the right to speak.

    I guess what I want to know is do I have the right also to speak to the judge? Do I have the right to let the judge see all of the evidence and then make his decision? My attorney told me that the judge would probably talk to my daughter but without knowing anything about any of us how can he make a decision based on just what she has to say.

    I know her mother will say its because of her busy social life or her school activities and then she will bring my wife into this given the chance.

    I love our daughter to death but I am tired of the lies and the resentment that my ex has allowed to build up because she had decided its more important to win our child’s loyalty then it is to parent her.

    So I need some advice her folks. Am I just setting myself up for the fall?

  2. #2
    panther10758 Guest

    Default Re: Teens Right to Choose Visitation?

    If there is court ordered vistation it is binding unless a new order is placed. If there are no visits the custodialparent can be held in contempt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Teens Right to Choose Visitation?

    A judge will decide what is in the best interests of the child.

    After a certain age, the child's wishes may be expressed to the court.

    However, the child's wishes are not the law and are not the sole determining factor.

    The only way that your daughter would have any say in the matter is if she is emancipated. Then, she would be given the rights of an adult in some aspects of her life.

    Less than 1% of children that apply are emancipated. None are emancipated that have not already demonstrated their ability to live on their own.

    Emancipations CAN take a long time, though. Lawyers love kids with deep pockets and emancipation wishes.

    Anyway... until the moment of emancipation, she does what her mommy and daddy tell her to do. That includes visitation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Teens Right to Choose Visitation

    Our daughter at this moment in her life does not have a problem with her mother, ( I say at this moment because she blogged to her friends in May that her mother and her stepdad were the cause of all of her problems in her life, at that point mom was just letting her talk to the boy on the phone.) Of course it was mom then now its me, this was before I found out her and the boyfriend's extra curricular activities or purposed activities. I remember what it was like to be 16 and 15 but I also was responsible enough to know the consequences. I was 27 when our daughter was born and she is our only child. I really do not want to see something happen to our daughter just because mom wants to be the favorite. Because of the animoisty on her mother's and stepfather's part they would not even listen to me. Their reasoning would be that because I had another parent come to me with what they knew and that after that point in time I started monitoring my daughter that I have taken her way her right to privacy.

    Privacy is ok but how would my ex feel if she knew that our daughter was flirting with a 26 year old guy online. Knowing her she would probably just pat her on the back.

    I just feel like no matter what happens my hands are tied. I was told by a professional that I need to notify the boys parents of whats going on, to protect him and our daughter both.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Teens Right to Choose Visitation

    The next time you are denied court ordered visitation, you take mom to court and have her charged with contempt.

    Period.

    The details just fog this up. Court orders are neither suggestions or guidelines.

    They are orders that are to be followed to the letter.

    There is not an attorney on the planet that would tell a minor to avoid visitation in defiance of a court order. There just isn't.

    Maybe the attorney has filled your daughter's head with "maybes" and "gonna bes" but, right now, that also doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Teens Right to Choose Visitation

    My attorney filed two separate contempt charges against my ex, one for not facilitating visitation and the other for signing her up for a non required summer school course without adequate notice as written in our paperwork.

    Ex in turn went to the attorney that her father took our daughter to and had papers filed for a modification of parenting time. It states that our daughter and her mother have tried to discuss issues that they have with me and that they have been met with hostility and no cooperation on the matters.

    They are listing in the paperwork that it is our daughter's wish to have a normal active teenage life and that she be allowed a Voice in decisions concerning her teenage life, school, activities, friends and extracurricular activities.


    This is how this got started this time.

    Mom enrolled daughter in unrequired summer school course during my visitation time and did not tell me. Daughter told me three days before it started.

    Summer school was only two weeks long but it was my two weeks.

    I had no way of working my work schedule around her school schedule.

    It is 29 miles from my home to my daughters school.

    I had already schedule off three weeks out of the six I get her to spend one on one with her during the days.

    Since it was short notice I asked mom if we could trade weeks that way our daughter would not have to get up so early and she would not have to ride so much back and forth and was informed absolutely not. They are two miles from the school.

    I asked if they could help with transportation. Absolutely not.

    So the first week we did the best we could and the second week I spend driving back and forth between my house and her school. 580 miles that week.

    They discussed the problems with me. There are no such things as discussion with my ex, if there were I would have been told that her and my daughter knew she was taking summer school at the end of the regular school year. I asked my daughter the second week when they decided to enroll her and she said back in Nov and summer school started the 1st of June.

    I take our daughter to all school activites with the exception of a few she did not want to go to. I even take her to 4H meetings and have helped myself when they needed me.

    As far as friends are concerned if you ask her she does not have any to speak of except her boyfriend.

    Extracurricular activites would involve school dances. Yes I took her to those.

    The only extracurricular activity that I have removed is her going to her boyfriends grandparents house and the grandparents allowing them to be in his room unsupervised for hours. I know what they have been up to and do not want it to go any further then it already has. I am willing to allow her time with the boy but not unsupervised.

    So in a nut shell that is it. Mom decided to jump on the bandwagon and allow her time with the boy at the grandparents because she knows I am not. A good parent would have asked why the change? Nope she just knows it makes our daughter mad at me and in her eyes makes her the winner. I choose mom over you.

    So at mom's she gets to do what she wants regardless of the consequences and at my house she has rules. So if you do not want rules then remove the parent making them.

    That is my defense when she says the parenting time guidelines need to be changed.

    If my ex was to ever see what our daughter puts on the internet (she probably wouldn't believe it) but she would realize that we have a very troubled child who needs parents for quidance not friends.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,666

    Default Re: Teen's Right to Choose Visitation

    As has been told to you in other forums, dd needs counseling, and if I were you, I'd ask for family counseling among all three of you. (I realize stepmom and stepdad would rather this not occur, but, it's in the best interest of your daughter.)

    If mom refuses to go, (which I suspect will be the case) you go with your daughter.

    I'd also have in back in court faces contempt charges so fast her head would spin. (and since they won't let you communicate with dd's atty., my guess is she actually doesn't have one...)

    Good luck!

    ~Christina

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