Age 16 wants to live with dad and have more freedo


Dear Terry123:

Greetings. The answer is that “legally” no, your 16 year old son does not get a choice. Now, some judges will not make the Sheriff go and pick up a 16 year old continually though, so if he plans on running away to Dad’s house, you may have a one time Sheriff pick him up deal.

Even if your son wants to move to Dad’s you know that you must fight for him since you have seen the destruction your ex caused to your other children.

Now, your ex does not have to serve you with a Motion to Modify Custody. Instead, he only has to mail a copy to you. He does not even have to mail it by certified mail.

I believe you are doing the right thing…the only thing you can do to safeguard your son and let him know that you care. Even if he goes to dad’s, he can never say that no one fought for him or cares about him. Best of luck and let us know if we can help.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney at Law
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Does a 16 year old son who “wants more freedom” get the choice on which parent he can live with? I have had custody the past 10 years and in the past several months I have had to deal with some alcohol related discipline issues. I felt that we were progressing through problems with the help of our church family and a good son-mom relationship. Son started complaining to dad and dad sent him a one way greyhound ticket against my wishes. My two older sons went in their teens to live with dad and one committed a felony at age 19. The other got a 3 year high school education and got thrown out at age 19 literally in the street due to drugs and irresponsibility. I have paid for the older two to attend college and dad didn’t pay a dime.
I have to retain counsel since dad has been trying to have me served for a change of custody motion.I haven’t been served yet. He didn’t pay child support for 5 years and was a very distant father…didn’t maintain visits, etc, forgot birthdays, A custody battle at almost 17 years old seems like a stupid thing but my other two sons did poorly and I don’t want to lose another son to poor parental involvement. Any thoughts are appreciated.