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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default 16 Year Old Custodial Parent vs Visitation

    I am in NY and have physical custody of my 16 year old son. This took place early in 2006 after spending thousands of dollars to accomplish what my son wanted - to live with me. The one downfall? Before he moved in with me, his mother had allowed him for years to spend 10-14 hours a day playing computer games. To say he was obsessed is an understatement. School came second - his grades weren't great and his attendance wasn't good either.
    When he moved in with me, his computer use was greatly reduced (I did not allow the ridiculous usage he had before). School - grades and attendance - were important and when some grades fell, his computer game privilege was taken away. Of course it bothered him, but eventually, he got over it. Visitation with his Mother was to be every other weekend. For months and months, it was a constant argument. He wanted no part of visitation with her. When he was a couple weeks away from 16, I actually filed a petition with the court so that he could make his own determination on whether he wanted to see her or not at any given time. He went months without seeing her.
    Then his birthday rolled around. Knowing what his obsession was, she bought him a Wii for his birthday. Lo and behold, he wanted to go visit and continued to visit on any day off he had. His grades went from 80's to 40's and he's now at her house, will not return, and according to her, wants to move back in with her. It's apparent to us that this sudden change is due to the Wii and it's sad that she's feeding his obsession to simply have him back in her house. Several issues at hand. Regents exams were all this week - he has not gone to any of them. She did not bring him here to our school district for him to take the exams and we have a feeling he didn't pursue it anyway. Great mother huh? She's putting her own selfishness over her son's best interests to ensure he stays with her.
    What can I do? As of right now, I consider him to be visiting her unless she can somehow get a court order saying differently, but I assume I'll have a say in any court order she tries to get. We've also made her aware that according to our school, she cannot register him anywhere unless she shows proof that his legal residence is with her, which it's not.
    Since he's 16, can she just have him go back to court and change his mind about where he wants to live just like that? Or, will I be able to dispute it and bring up all these things about her that show she does not have my son's best interests in mind? Help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Custodial Parent vs Visitation

    You could go back to court, but to what end? If the court orders your son to return to your home, will he actually come back? Will it be worth the grief and conflict? It's hard, but sometimes you have to ask yourself if your teen needs to fall hard on his butt (so to speak) in order to learn a valuable life lesson.

    If you do go back to court, it sounds like you will be able to document that the mother is not a responsible custodian and her lax parenting threatens your son's chances of completing high school.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: 16 Year Old Custodial Parent vs Visitation

    I hear what you're saying. The fact that he's 16 doesn't help either. Regardless of what he told his law guardian 2 months ago about not wanting to go to his mother's, I would imagine if he walks in tomorrow and says just the opposite, the judge will go with what he says he wants now.

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