Custody


#1

what do I have to do in order for my father to get full custody of me. i’m 15 years old.


#2

As a 15 year old child, there really isn’t anything YOU can ‘do’ for this to happen. It is up to your parents and the courts, however at 15 you do have a voice in all this. But you are not the only factor.

It isn’t a simple thing if there is a parent contesting custody. Effectively, either your parents need to agree that one has full custody or a court has to make that decision. IME, a NC court would take until you were after 18 to get that worked out. They are among the worst in the country as far as I am concerned. The judges very often drag their feet and put families through expensive hoops to make up their minds on anything.

And there are different custody types. There is full physical custody, where you live full time with one parent and see the other as indicated in a visitation agreement and there is shared physical custody and there is legal custody, for decision making purposes. So you could live with your mom and dad 50/50 but only your dad would be able to make decisions from a legal standpoint.

Are you just wanting to live with your dad, but okay if your mom has shared decision making about you? Where do you parents stand in all this? At 15 you should be able to sit down and have a meaningful dialogue with all three of you present, but keep in mind that there may be issues (financial, time, ability, desire) that they are not comfortable discussing with you, so don’t be hurt if they exclude you from pieces of this ongoing conversation. It is their job as a parent to retain certain elements of their relationship with you privately. If your mom cannot afford to pay your dad child support and he won’t take you full time unless she pays for example…that is a conversation no child should ever have to hear. So when they say they need to talk without you, don’t push and press. Let them have that time.

If it is a situation where they can’t even be civil, then you should contact an attorney that specializes in representing minors (like the Children’s Law Center in Charlotte, NC) that can be your voice in the courts.