According to the terms of the separation agreement, the parents are to split custody of the children 50/50. Child support is to be paid by the father to the mother until the children are 18 or graduate high school, whichever is later.
Lately the eldest teenager (age 17) has become increasingly out of control and aggressive. The mother has threatened on several occasions to throw him out of her house and send him to live with us full time permanently (all over the phone of course) as she cannot control him and she’s become frightened of him. (Although oddly enough, she’s recently started paying for boxing lessons for him!) We told her that we support her decision if she chose to send him to us because she couldn’t handle him any more. Discussions were had by both mother and father where they agreed that things had gotten so bad that they might either need to a.) send him to military school or b.) emancipate him.
Recently, the teenager shoved and took a swing at his own father, so we asked him to pack his things to go live with his mother full time as we couldn’t tolerate such behaviour under our roof and felt that it was damaging and dangerous not only to us, but also to his younger siblings.
Now the mother is threatening legal action against us to take full custody of the remaining children on the grounds that if we were so temperamental as to send him back to his mother’s, she felt that we were irresponsible and dangerous to the other siblings because we might ‘snap at any moment and toss them out of the house too’.
1.) Can she do this and possibly succeed?
2.) Can we be forced to maintain half custody for a violent teen?
3.) Do we have a good countersuit to pursue full custody of the other siblings for their own safety should the teen’s behaviour persist?