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  1. #1
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    Oct 2015
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    Default 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Utah

    My ex and I have been divorced now for just over 4 years. We have 5 children ages 16 to 6. We share both legal and physical custody 50/50. The kids are with her for a week and then come to my house for a week. We have followed the dictates of the divorce decree without many issues when it comes to parent time.

    A couple of weeks ago my eldest daughter and I got into an argument and she decided she was just going to stay with her mom from now on. When I asked her mother to back me up that she needed to come to my house when she was supposed to be at my house she told me my house wasn't a prison and that our daughter should be able to stay where she wants when she wants.

    When my week for the kids came around again my ex didn't have my daughter come to my house but brought the other kids. I have spent the last week trying to determine what I should do. During this time I haven't broached the subject with my ex and my ex has pretty much been silent on the matter and I'm sure she thinks I am just going to let this slide like many other things she has done that have violated our divorce decree.

    I have one week before the kids come back to decide how I want to proceed. The difficult thing is that I don't want to alienate my daughter by filing an order to show cause and forcing her to come to my house but at the same time I feel like this sets an awful precedent for my other kids should they also decide they would rather be at their mothers. It should be noted here that the kids attend schools in their mothers neighborhood. While I don't live to far away I spend a considerable amount of time driving them places so they can go to school, play with friends, go to activities etc. It just isn't convenient for them to be at my house and it is starting to feel like they really don't consider my house to be home. I have looked at moving closer but just can't afford to live anywhere near her neighborhood.

    I know I have options legally. I have a good attorney but with that goodness comes a hefty price per hour that I really can't afford at the moment. I am hoping that someone here can offer insight into the best way to proceed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,598

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    It's not your daughter that's not complying with the court order, it's your ex.

    If you aren't willing to take your ex back to court to face the consequences of not laying down the law to your daughter, then you let it slide.

    Or, you can try to convince your daughter that the grass is greener on your side of the fence.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    3,143

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    Don't be surprised if your daughter decides she wants to.stay at your house in the future. Mom will make her mad and she will not want to live with mom. Your daughter needs to.learn how to handle it when things do not go her way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,981

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    Quote Quoting 000Zero000
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    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Utah

    My ex and I have been divorced now for just over 4 years. We have 5 children ages 16 to 6. We share both legal and physical custody 50/50. The kids are with her for a week and then come to my house for a week. We have followed the dictates of the divorce decree without many issues when it comes to parent time.

    A couple of weeks ago my eldest daughter and I got into an argument and she decided she was just going to stay with her mom from now on. When I asked her mother to back me up that she needed to come to my house when she was supposed to be at my house she told me my house wasn't a prison and that our daughter should be able to stay where she wants when she wants.

    When my week for the kids came around again my ex didn't have my daughter come to my house but brought the other kids. I have spent the last week trying to determine what I should do. During this time I haven't broached the subject with my ex and my ex has pretty much been silent on the matter and I'm sure she thinks I am just going to let this slide like many other things she has done that have violated our divorce decree.

    I have one week before the kids come back to decide how I want to proceed. The difficult thing is that I don't want to alienate my daughter by filing an order to show cause and forcing her to come to my house but at the same time I feel like this sets an awful precedent for my other kids should they also decide they would rather be at their mothers. It should be noted here that the kids attend schools in their mothers neighborhood. While I don't live to far away I spend a considerable amount of time driving them places so they can go to school, play with friends, go to activities etc. It just isn't convenient for them to be at my house and it is starting to feel like they really don't consider my house to be home. I have looked at moving closer but just can't afford to live anywhere near her neighborhood.

    I know I have options legally. I have a good attorney but with that goodness comes a hefty price per hour that I really can't afford at the moment. I am hoping that someone here can offer insight into the best way to proceed.
    I would give it a few more weeks before I make any decision. You are correct that you could alienate your daughter if you take her mother to court for a show cause. You also have to look ahead to your future adult relationship with your daughter as well. You are going to have many more years of an adult relationship with your child and you don't want a problem with that.

    Its also possible that she has discovered that she likes the break from all of her siblings. It has to be pretty peaceful at mom's house while all of the others are at yours.

    At the same time however, you cannot let your daughter call all of the shots. Its not healthy for her to believe that she totally calls the shots. It might be helpful to insist that she join you in some counseling sessions. It also might be helpful to insist that she have dinner with you a couple of times a week.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    17

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I would give it a few more weeks before I make any decision. You are correct that you could alienate your daughter if you take her mother to court for a show cause. You also have to look ahead to your future adult relationship with your daughter as well. You are going to have many more years of an adult relationship with your child and you don't want a problem with that.

    Its also possible that she has discovered that she likes the break from all of her siblings. It has to be pretty peaceful at mom's house while all of the others are at yours.

    At the same time however, you cannot let your daughter call all of the shots. Its not healthy for her to believe that she totally calls the shots. It might be helpful to insist that she join you in some counseling sessions. It also might be helpful to insist that she have dinner with you a couple of times a week.
    When I asked to speak to my daughter today she said she would only talk to me if her therapist is there. There has been little to no communication since she started staying at moms and I'm sure this requirement came from her mother. I have agreed to set something up with the therapist. While I agree I want to have a good relationship with my daughter I also agree that she shouldn't be dictating how things should be. I'm willing to allow for things to be more flexible when she is supposed to be with me but I want rules and guidelines for what that looks like. I don't want her to decide to stay at moms at random because she wants a later curfew or because its more convenient to stay there.

    Mom let me know this last week that she is getting a new car so my daughter will have her old car to drive when she is there. She doesn't drive currently at my house because I can't afford it. That's one of the things she doesn't like about being at my house. I had intended to start letting her drive when with me after taxes were filed but now it just looks like I'm giving in to her demands.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    Quote Quoting 000Zero000
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    When I asked to speak to my daughter today she said she would only talk to me if her therapist is there. There has been little to no communication since she started staying at moms and I'm sure this requirement came from her mother. I have agreed to set something up with the therapist. While I agree I want to have a good relationship with my daughter I also agree that she shouldn't be dictating how things should be. I'm willing to allow for things to be more flexible when she is supposed to be with me but I want rules and guidelines for what that looks like. I don't want her to decide to stay at moms at random because she wants a later curfew or because its more convenient to stay there.

    Mom let me know this last week that she is getting a new car so my daughter will have her old car to drive when she is there. She doesn't drive currently at my house because I can't afford it. That's one of the things she doesn't like about being at my house. I had intended to start letting her drive when with me after taxes were filed but now it just looks like I'm giving in to her demands.
    Definitely get something set up with the therapist ASAP. I think that it could help you both.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    656

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Has Decided to Stay with Mom Full Time

    Quote Quoting 000Zero000
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    A couple of weeks ago my eldest daughter and I got into an argument
    and she decided she was just going to stay with her mom from now on. When I asked her mother to back me up that she needed to come to my house when she was supposed to be at my house she told me my house wasn't a prison and that our daughter should be able to stay where she wants when she wants.

    <snip>
    What was the argument about? Once you have both cooled down, was it about stuff that can be discussed and perhaps a compromise agreed to? Sometimes we, as parents, forget that we can't continue treating all of our children the same way that we did when they were little.

    You don't want to "give into her demands", but perhaps her "demands" aren't completely out of line for a 16yo, and perhaps there is some room for negotiation. I'll only give a "for example" on the driving/car issue. Of course, she wants that independence at 16. But, with that, should come some responsibility. Some ideas - she works p/t to help with insurance and/or gas money. Or she helps you with transporting a sibling to an activity, playdate, etc. Or she'll stop at the grocery for a needed essential on her way from school.

    Can you discuss with Mom a way to share the costs of the car she'll have at Mom's, rather than duplicating? Then perhaps she can assist with getting herself & hersiblings between houses?

    Again, there is not really enough information as to whether she's overall a responsible young woman or not. But at 16, she is nearly an adult and really should - ideally - be treated as such. By all means, schedule time for the two of you to meet with the therapist and *open a dialogue* with your daughter. It could change your world, hers, and forge a whole new - adult - relationship. Good luck.

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