You received custody of your son when you and your husband divorced. He was just 10 years old. Now he’s 15, and he has been asking if he can go live with his father, instead.
What do you do? This is a very tough situation, and it’s important to consider it from all angles.
1. Consider the father’s rights.
What rights was your ex-husband granted by the court? Do you already share custody? Does he have visitation rights? Are there any other aspects to the case — like abuse or a criminal record — that mean your ex doesn’t get to see his son for his own safety? Know where everything stands legally before digging into the family dynamic.
2. What is in the child’s best interests?
For older children, courts will often ask about their desires when determining what is in their best interests. If your son really wants to live elsewhere, at his age, that could factor in heavily.
3. What other factors could spur the decision?
For instance, one woman said her son wanted to go live with his father, and it meant switching schools. He didn’t tell her his reasons, but she thought he wanted to attend a new school where he could get a “fresh start.”
4. Can your ex even do it?
Why didn’t your ex get your son in the first place? For example, maybe he travels all the time for work. He wouldn’t realistically be around to take care of your son, so it may not be a wise move, no matter what your son wants.
These are just four aspects of the case to look at, but they show how this can be complex and emotionally difficult on all sides. Be sure you and your ex both know your legal rights, your son’s rights, and everything else about the legal side of the case.
Source: The Spruce, “When a Son or Daughter Wants to Live with Dad,” Jennifer Wolf, accessed Aug. 18, 2017