Mother needing help


Without knowing specifics it sounds as though you need to put your foot down. A 15 year old may have some say in where they live in court but with the attitude changes, school issues and the drinking, I think a court would look very closely at his father. If he has up until recently been in your primary care then you legally have primary physical custody. Letting him “visit” his father for this extended period of time is alright but you should let him know that his father doesn’t have custody and if it is to change then he will need to file for it.
IMHO, any good parent is going to be “nosy” and “mean”. That’s how children get to grow up is by their parents keeping them safe and protected. Giving a little freedom is alright but it should be earned instead of expected. I understand that a teenager is going to be defiant and ungrateful but this is where parents get all the “glory”. Sadly, you will have to be the bad guy. A judge would look at you being “in his business” as a good thing, as would a lot of other parents.
I’m not suggesting that every parent doesn’t deserve the chance to be with their children and work out the parent/child relationship but if there are this many problems already what will he be like when he starts to drive…It sounds like his father is being more of a friend than a parent.

Document everything. Get copies of school records and notes from teachers. Find out as much as you can and be prepared. He needs to come home. Then you wait and see if his father files for custody. If he does then let it be his burden to show the court why it would be in your son’s best interest to reside with him. Maybe you could try to work out an arrangement with his father for him to have more time while you retain primary physical custody. This would show the courts that you are willing to work with him but not willing to jeopardize your son’s well being just to make him happy. You are the parent and it’s up to you to make the decision that you think is best for him. Though he’s 15 he’s still too young to make decisions like this himself, especially for the reasons he has given you…


If your son is not doing well in his father’s home, and your ex is not working with you, then you would need to file an action for child custody and ask the court to make a determination of child custody. The Judge has the authority to order your ex to comply with a court order.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

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Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


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My son is 15 years old and like all boys his age, he thinks he knows it all. I’ve been a mother since I was 17 years old and have pratically devoted my whole life to him. Now he has decided that his dad is much “cooler” and he wants to go live with him. He called his dad after to come pick him a couple weeks ago and his dad is not being supportive of me at all. He’s been late to school, his teachers are complaining about his attitude lately, I know for a fact he was caught drinking…yes, at his dad’s house. He’s gotten out of control because there is no discipline or guidance and I truly believe that’s why he wants to live there. I also have a 9 year old daughter whom he says “gets on his nerves” and he has no space at my home. This basically means because I won’t allow him to have a computer in his room. I’ve never been a really strict parent but I make sure I always know what’s going on with him…therefore, in his words…“I’m always in his business”. I want to go to court to get him back but I don’t know how that will affect him or even what my chances are since he’s 15. I need all the advice I can get.