Son wants to live w/me


#1

Depending on the county it can take six months to a year to get into court on permanent custody. I would caution you against continuing to talk to our son about this matter. This may reflect negatively on you in the future.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details

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

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

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#2

Thanks for the reply!

Can I ask why it could reflect negatively against me? Could it be perceived in a way that I’m coercing him?


#3

I believe that is what Helena is referring to. However, at 16,if he wants to discuss anything, you can not NOT discuss it. If your son is expressing a desire to live with you, has valid reasons for wanting this change, and is willing to go the lengths necessary then it would be in his best interest for him to know all the legalities of the situation. As long as you are not trying to persuade him, bribe him or otherwise sway his judgement then I don’t see why discussing it with him would be a bad thing. The parents and the child are the ones that are going to be living with the change. So who is the child supposed to discuss these types of things with if not their parents?

Have you attempted to discuss this with your ex? I understand that he needs to discuss this with his mother but if you and your ex do not discuss things then it may be possible that there’s more to the situation than you know…maybe it’s the way that it’s been approached to her.
If the ex would agree to a temporary change of custody as in a trial period to see if moving that far is really what your son wants you may not need to go to court at all…a change of custody could be done with a consent.
My suggestion would be to discuss with the ex a possible 3-6 month trial, with the agreement that nothing legal will change until after that time frame. If she truely wants them to be happy and this is what they want, maybe it would be simpler than you think. The threat of going to court for custody and losing a child to the other parent and a stepparent is not easy for some parents to swallow…


#4

Thanks for the reply stepmother. I thought the same way. My son approached me about living here (as did my youngest son in the past) so I answered his questions the best I could. At no time did I ever make promises to him, etc and I explained to him that I wouldn’t make promises because it wasn’t fair to him, me or his mom. This isn’t something I’ve approached my kids about. It’s always been something they bring up if we’re sitting around talking or hanging out. I know this past Saturday if I had told my oldest son that he didn’t have to get on that airplane, he would have gladly said “Ok” and stayed. He feels that strongly about living here.

Unfortunately however, his mother is steadfastly against the idea of either of them living here. In fact, Saturday morning my oldest called his mom and broached the subject with her. She immediately went into a tirade saying she was never going to abandon her kids and that he had to come home, etc etc. I’ve even broached the subject with her in the past when my youngest wanted to live here and she shot that idea down in a hurry. I even made it clear to her and the kids that if they moved out here and decided after 6 months or a year that they’d rather be back in NC, I would have no problem with them moving back. But she didn’t want to have any of that. I have my reasons/beliefs why she won’t let them move out here but that’s for another forum I guess.

Hence, the topic of going to court has been brought up. In fact it was my oldest sons idea to go to court which is why I’m asking how long it could take.


#5

Courts do not generally like to see the children involved in litigation in anyway, that also means that they don’t like to see parent’s discussing litigation with the children, even when the children are asking questions.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details

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

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

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#6

So you are supposed to tell the children that it’s none of their business? Or that it’s better if they research their questions on the internet or ask someone else because it will look bad to the courts that you, as a parent, discussed with your child the issues that affect their lives? Especially if that child is almost an adult?

I have to disagree with the courts on this. If the child is being coached or persuaded, or if the child was of an age that they could not grasp the situation, then I could understand this, but you are telling parents NOT to discuss with their children what the possibilities are, what’s going to happen…tell a 16 year old that they DON’T have a say in what’s going to affect them this much and see how far that gets you. I apologize but this is just wrong. This is not involving the child in litigation, this is including the child in a decision about their OWN life.

EDIT: Are children not involved in court in custody cases often enough to even let them know that it’s a possibility? I don’t know how often children are talked to by a judge…maybe I’m looking at this wrong. If out of every 50 cases heard, the judge only wants to talk to one child, then maybe you shouldn’t tell them the details of court, but I still believe explaining custody to them is necessary most of the time. Is discussing where the child wants to live considered involving them in litigation? Or is involving them in litigation anytime the words court, judge or custody is used?
How is the court supposed to take the child’s wishes into consideration, as it says it will, if the courts frown on involving the child in discussions?


#7

For the first half year after my wife had run off with our children without any warning, my older sons asked me repeatedly what was going on, where they were going to live, etc.

I had read early on in that period that courts don’t like to hear that parents have been discussing any of those matters with their children, so I didn’t. I would try as best I could, in a loving way, to let my sons know that those were adult matters and that mom and dad would do what was best. They knew that I was BS’ing them.

The result? My children were all on their own. They didn’t get the emotional support or answers that they craved from their father. I can still remember times after I would try to tactfully dodge their questions that they would break down and weep. They certainly weren’t getting any answers or support from their mom - and they couldn’t count on dad either. They became more withdrawn and felt like nobody cared what they thought.

Those days are over. I will never let my children feel that isolated and ignored again. While there are many matters that are strictly not discussed with my sons, when they need to talk and express themselves to me about things, like concerns with their living arrangements or maltreatment by their mother, I am always available for them - and the “courts” be damned.

I can provide an outlet for my children needing to express themselves and feel loved and validated without “involving” them in ways that courts would frown upon. The spirit of the law is to shelter children from the emotional weight of feeling like big life altering decisions are left soley up to them. The spirit of the law is to protect them from being sucked into a nasty fight between divorcing parents so that they feel caught in the middle. But in trying to apply the LETTER of the law as it seems to have been described here is not in harmony with what is in the best interests of children. Kids should not be told that they don’t have any say in what goes on in their lives.


#8
quote:
[i]Originally posted by stepmother[/i] [br]So you are supposed to tell the children that it's none of their business? Or that it's better if they research their questions on the internet or ask someone else because it will look bad to the courts that you, as a parent, discussed with your child the issues that affect their lives? Especially if that child is almost an adult?

I have to disagree with the courts on this. If the child is being coached or persuaded, or if the child was of an age that they could not grasp the situation, then I could understand this, but you are telling parents NOT to discuss with their children what the possibilities are, what’s going to happen…tell a 16 year old that they DON’T have a say in what’s going to affect them this much and see how far that gets you. I apologize but this is just wrong. This is not involving the child in litigation, this is including the child in a decision about their OWN life.

EDIT: Are children not involved in court in custody cases often enough to even let them know that it’s a possibility? I don’t know how often children are talked to by a judge…maybe I’m looking at this wrong. If out of every 50 cases heard, the judge only wants to talk to one child, then maybe you shouldn’t tell them the details of court, but I still believe explaining custody to them is necessary most of the time. Is discussing where the child wants to live considered involving them in litigation? Or is involving them in litigation anytime the words court, judge or custody is used?
How is the court supposed to take the child’s wishes into consideration, as it says it will, if the courts frown on involving the child in discussions?


Those were my thoughts as well. To me, if my son asks me a question, I’m going to answer it as truthfully as I can. He’s smart enough and mature enough to know if I’m telling him the truth or if I’m BS’ing him or beating around the bush.

An update to all this however, is my son decided to stay in NC. He’s currently in his third year at Lee Early College (when he graduates, he does so with a HS diploma and 2yr Associates) and he felt it would be best if he finished school and got his degree. As much as it pains me to say it and as strongly as he feels about moving to Oklahoma, I think this was a smart move on his part. He knows and understands the door is always open here and I’ve told him and his brother they’re always welcome here and can stay however long. My 16yr old sons’ plan right now is to finish school then move out here.


#9

My 16yr Son expressed a strong desire to live with me and my wife in Oklahoma (he currently lives in Sanford). He says he’s happier here and doesn’t like living in NC. I told him he needed to talk to his mom and try to convince her. I knew when I told him that she would shoot the idea down quick, fast and in a hurry. But, I felt he needed to at least try to talk to his mom. His mom claims (her words not mine) that as long as she is alive, neither him or his younger brother (12yrs old) would live with me. However, when my oldest said he was going to move out here after he graduated high school, her response was “if that is what makes you happy, then I’ll be happy”.

Anyway, I explained to my son what the process would be as far as me having to take his mom back to court and him most likely having to talk to the judge and answering questions from the judge. My son wanted to know how fast that could happen. I have no clue so I’m hoping someone could give me some sort of estimated time-line on how fast that would happen.

I’m in a holding pattern right now until my son decides whether or not for sure he wants to live here or wait til he graduates high school. But if he calls me and says he wants to live here and wants me to go to court, I’d like to be able to give him some sort of timeline. Him and his brother are coming back out for X-mas break and I think he would love nothing more than to fly out and stay for good.

Thanks in advance!