Rights of a 16 yr old


The police can enforce visitation, though with a child who is sixteen years old they are sometimes reluctant to do so. If you have a court order for visitation your son’s father could be in contempt of the order for refusing to force your son to participate in visitation.

Helena M. Toft
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


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.


I have joint custody of my son who recently turned 16. We alternate weeks. When I went to pick him up on Saturday, he refused to come. He said a teacher had told him that at 16, he could decide where to be, and that I couldn’t force him to come home with me. My court custody order says we are to share custody until he’s 18 and done with high school. Can he really just decide at age 16 to stay at his father’s? Can I call the police, show them the order, and they will make him come to me? My ex-husband says he encouraged my son to come with me, but he’s basically staying out of the middle. It’s really my son who is pushing this, not my ex.

We both live in Raleigh, near one another.