Childs decision to live at x


I am sure this situation comes up quite frequently. Your ex cannot stop child support without a consent order that you both have signed or by going to court to modify support. You can definitely come after him on this. I would contact the local child support offices and get their advice. I would suggest that going the court route would be a waste of time and money if the teen is aging out in 6months, though technically in NC support does not end unless they have also graduated from high school.
I would suggest that you tell the ex that you will consider signing a consent order to change/decrease support that he pays you if after one month of living w/ your ex everything is still going well. THis is the “trial” period for all concerned.
Above all, don’t take this personally, we had it happen as well. We didn’t modify support when the 17 yr old decided to cease visitation w/ dad and spend all time w/ mom. We were sad and sickened by this as well because we were and still are skeptical that there is much parental involvement or oversight -but there was not a lot we could do. Just pray that your teenage child will in time see the situation for what it is and that sometimes the path of least resistance is not the best route to take.


It has been just over a month now since child went to live with x. My child and I had a long conversation the other day after I asked them to come home, but nothing was resolved.
The x still refuses to talk to me.
My child has left for all the wrong reasons and I don’t know how to get through.
The child will be 18 in 6 months and has one more year in school. I still feel like they need parental guidance.
I did call child support services, but they could not offer any advice. They just said it would take 6-9 months to review the case.
I hate to go to child support services even though I have a custody agreement, even though the child has not been at my house for the last month.
I hate to call the police as I don’t want to rock the boat.
I hate to go back to court since child is almost 18 and it would cost $$$$$.
But I don’t want to standby and do nothing.
Any suggestions?


It sounds to me as though you have no other option but to rock the boat if you are not willing to let the situation play out.
The only problem I see is that with a teenager, especially one that is about to be legally an adult, there is little that you can do. The courts will not likely get involved since teenagers are naturally defiant. Nothing makes a teenager want to do something more than telling them they can’t…
Is he visiting you at all? If he’s drinking at his fathers, could you perhaps find out specifics as in when and contact the police?

I don’t know what to tell you as far as helping you get through this. Though it is the hardest thing for a parent to do, sometimes the only thing you can do is to let go. Know that you have done all that you can to try to convince your child that you are doing what is best. Know that you HAVE done your best in raising him. Realize that this situation is no longer under your control and let it go. When your child realizes that he has made a mistake and that you were right, be there for him. Maybe the basis for his decision IS wrong but your ex may realize that over time. Being responsible for the child also means that boundaries need to be set and the ex may not appreciate living as a roommate instead of a father. This may come back to bite him given enough time and he may realize that he needs to be the child’s father instead of his friend. Sometimes people have to learn this the hard way though and your son will respect you more when he is older because you DID set boundaries for him…whether he realizes that now or not.

Child Support Enforcement Agency should be involved as far as the child support goes. They can’t do anything about the custody issue but if your ex wants to discontinue support then he will need to file for modification. Just because the child does not live with you any longer does not mean that child support is not still due.


If I did go to Child Support services, and if he decided to take me back to court (or not) wouldn’t it look like I was just after the money to the x or to the child or to the court? Does it really take 9 months to process?


I do not know how long processing takes…
Yes it could look that way. Do you care what the ex thinks? But, are you still paying for anything? Are there still dental, medical or other bills that you are making payments on for your son? Child support was agreed to and is owed, regardless of what it is used for. Put it into a savings account if you want to make it look better. While I admire you for not being in this for the money, child support doesn’t cover everything and if you have had primary custody for any length of time you are probably still catching up.

If you feel uncomfortable with going to CSE then let the situation rest completely. Keep the letter for future reference but in all reality, if your son has in essence changed custody, CSE could find that you should have began paying your ex child support this month…depending on the visitation schedule. If they are telling you 9 months, it’s likely it could take longer than that for them to get to your case and to determine anything. By that time your son will have graduated and you probably would like to quit dealing with your ex. If you don’t feel the need to push the issue then don’t push it. You need to do what you feel is right for you and your son, regardless of what anyone else thinks.


My 17 year has said that he is old enough to decide where he wants to live so he has gone to live with my x. He made this decision because he does not like being asked where he is, who he is with, clean up, typical things parents should ask. He also knows he can get by with things (such as drinking, come and go as he pleases) at the other home. Instead of the x telling the child that the bases for his decision are wrong, he jumps at the situation and has written me a letter saying that child will live there and child support will be stopped. I understand that legally the child cannot make this decision without going to court. We have a child custody agreement in place so legally his letter has no meaning. I hate to go to the police or have child enforcement involved as I don’t want to make it look like I’m just after the money and i don’t want to make my child any more mad. Also I would hate to have to go back to court when child is 6 months from being 18. But I hate seeing the values that my x is instilling in the child. My heart is broken.
Any suggestions on how to handle the situation?


I am sorry for your situation. Technically, until new Orders are issued, the child support is still due. Sadly, by the time you hire someone to take care of this and get it into Court, it will have cost you more than the amount of child support owed. What a rip off our system is and what a joke too!

OK. Your child is 6 months from aging out of child support. He made the decision to live with his father and the father is no longer paying you the child support ordered. Sadly, our judicial system also gives minor children too much decision making authority. Funny, the law says kids cannot vote, get married, smoke, or fight in a war until l8, but gives kids authority to choose a parent often as young as age 13. I don’t get that, but that is beside the point.

Here’s my advice. Forget it. I know it is difficult, but just let it go. In time, your son may come back to you. I don’t know your situation. Just be there for him at all times. Let him do this for whatever reason(s) he chose to do it. He has to live with his decision. I know it isn’t easy and I would cry my eyes out if this happened to me. But, just try to be strong and let this go for now. However, if it is financially worth it to you, you could pursue this through the Court. I just don’t know, but I think I would just say FIDO. Take care and I wish you the best!


I am sorry for what you are going through. Be thankful that you have had 17 years to nurture and form him into the man that he can be. If he did not move out now, he probably would when he was 18. At some point in time, we as parents have to let our children go and your just having to do it a little earlier. Just know that you have taught him well. He may not go by all your rules at this point but hopefully he will come back to them. Remember and pray Proverbs 22:6, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. If you do not know Jesus as your personal savior, I pray that you come to know him. I worship an awesome God that we put our faith and trust in.


Maybe your child will come clean after all these experiences. I’m not a religious person, but i think raebiggs advice is great.


Hasn’t happened in our case. Child pretty much does whatever he wants at x’s house. We hope that once he is able to move away from home and get out on his own, he’ll learn differently, but at the time there was no forcing him to do anything he didn’t want to because he always went screaming to the x or just plain ran off.