You are here:

Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/17 yr old son wants to live soley with Dad

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: My wife and I are 3 months into our divorce and we both reside in the same home. My daughter is 16 & my son is 17 (18 in Sept). My son has told both mom & I that he wishes to live with me and only visit mom occasionally. My wife wants 50% custody. I want whatever my son wants. I am OK with 20% mom but I have concerns even with that.
My wife is very controlling, domineering and has anger issues. Both kids are well aware of her anger. We all live on eggshells. Everything is fine until we disagree with her. I am afraid to take this to the judge. My wife is a Christian and will not lie but she assumes the worse of us all and believes lies about me and probly will tell the judge her distorted views and falsely accuse me (dad) of being an addict of some type. We live is Orange county California and custody applies till my son graduates next June even after he's 18. My lawyer says its a gamble. I hate being in this position. I don't want a fight but I love my son dearly & don't want to just give in to her demands.... again.

ANSWER: Jason,
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT a lawyer, but have have had experience with family law system. What is stated is based on my experience only: Seek out a professional Attorney in your area familiar with the FAMILY law: Most Attorneys offer 1/2 free time to consult on the case and make a decision.

I would talk to an Attorney immediately with SON present: The family courts will LISTEN to what your son (16) says, and most likely grant his wishes. Mom would have every other weekend to visit with son OR every weekend if YOU BOTH agree to those terms: BOTH OF YOU can come up with a reasonable visitation plan. I would also include SONS input so that ALL of you agree: Then take that agreement to the courts for approval.

The 3 month old most like will reside with MOM because of the age, but again MOM and DAD can work out an reasonable arrangement so that the children stay together and visit with each parent, and get quality time with each parent.

REMEMEBER Parenting PLANS can be worked out ( even in CA court system) WITH MOM and DAD agreeing on terms; Even though you are getting a divorce both of you MUST remain FRIENDS or maintain a BUSINESS relationship the entire lifespan of the children.  IN TIME, you most likely will become best of friends and your children will LOVE you both as a result of working this issue out: PUT THEM first, OK.
Always.
PS: For tax purposes make sure you get the 8332 filled out once parenting plan in agreement!

Good luck
Jeff

JASON:

What I have said is TRUE I know because my ex of seven years and I worked out a Parenting plan whereby my daughters went to live with her in UK, and our youngest son (10 years old at time who also wanted to live with dad) lived with me.  We drew up our own Parenting plan outlining visitation for holidays, etc. Then presented it to the courts. We were praised for working together to figure the plan out.  The courts ALWAYS wants whats in the best interest of the child: PARENTS working together is the best.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: First if all you did not read my question well. I do not have a 3 month old. My son is 17.
My wife is a narcissist. Best described as a controlling rageaholic or a crazy-maker.  Look il the terms. They are all real & really happening in our family. If you're not an attorney please do not answer this question. I need real world advice. My wife and I will not be friends ever unless a miracle of God opens her mind to who she really is and not the delusion she lives under. The kids & I suffer emotional & verbal abuse when we have an opinion that differs from hers.
It's very depressing and sad for us all.
Is it worth it to go fight for greater than 50% custody for my 17 year old son?
My wife may accuse me of things which will be grossly distorted & inaccurate.
That's the point. Don't ever tell me we will be friends. You have no idea what I've endured.
Thank you.

ANSWER: Jason,

My appolgy for misread: After reviewing it I see "My daughter is 16 & my son is 17 (18 in Sept). " my bad, sorry.

Now with reference to your other comments let me give you some REAL WORLD advise Jason based on over 22 years of challenges dealing with Divorce and custody issues that I had to personally go through ( 3 Divorces) hence why I am not giving advise on the 'relationship' page.

I understand your pain Jason. I understand the Children's pain. Understand that Children or young adults in your case understand and suffer most all in a Divorce which in most cases takes a few years of pain, hatred, arguments, etc prior to actually filing for a divorce and going through the even more painful custody battles.

You do not need to be a 'Friend' if that does not work. BUT you DO need to work through the issues with ex in a way that it becomes a WIN for the children. The courts do not care about your pain or your ex's pain: ALL they care about, like myself, are the Children.  The amount of Money you will spend, and already started I am sure, will pay for your children's college fund.  Why not find a way via business relationship for example to work things out?  Rather than putting YOU and your children through further PAIN of a drawn out custody battle which in the long run WILL effect them greatly.

On the other hand if you can find a way to work things out, get past the pain, get past the negative feelings and attitude of ex-wife: Find a way to resolve it and therefore set an example for your children WHO will in the long run greatly appreciate it. Every side has a story Jason as you have stated "My wife may accuse me of things which will be grossly distorted & inaccurate." but why draw the story further out? The courts will not look at it as a 'positive' rather a negative.  However, if you work things out not only will you win, but save money for your children's future.

I am sure you know that you can never control 'what comes out of her' nor can she control what comes out of you: However, you have the power to control YOUR feelings, emotions to a level of a positive result for your children's sake Jason.  YOUR CHILDREN's sake.

Find a way to reach middle ground maybe a 'mediation' hearing would work? I know that you think that your way, which it very well may be OK, is the right way: However, there are TWO sides to this story: Your side and Your ex's side.  Until you find a medium or a way to compromise non of you including your children will come out of this un scathed.

Good Luck
Jeff



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So you're saying that its better to try to work out something with a verbally & emotionally abusive controlling Rageaholic who does not know the term compromise? (None of those terms I even knew until this past year).
If you look up the term narcissist it describes my wife. Which means the only way to work things out with her is her way? Does the term "my way or the highway" sound familiar?
Bottom line is working something out means agreeing to do on,y what she wants. Are you saying that's the best option? Remember that most likely will be the only option offered... Her way. This is the problem in the marriage. Her way is the only way and the right way... Always. Not 90% of the time, 100% of the time.
So you are saying working things out with that. I just want to be clear on what you are suggesting for me & the kids.
So our kids will be with a person like that 50% of the time. I should be agreeable to that.
Is that what you are saying? I'm not upset I'm just asking.
Thanks for your perspective.

Answer
Jason,

What I am saying is that you "find a way" to work this out with ex, be it mediation or mediator, etc.

I understand your pain Jason. I understand the Children's pain. Understand that Children or young adults in your case understand and suffer most all in a Divorce which in most cases takes a few years of pain, hatred, arguments, etc prior to actually filing for a divorce and going through the even more painful custody battles.


If you can find a way to work things out, get past the pain, get past the negative feelings and attitude of ex-wife: Find a way to resolve it and therefore set an example for your children WHO will in the long run greatly appreciate it. Every side has a story Jason as you have stated "My wife may accuse me of things which will be grossly distorted & inaccurate." but why draw the story further out? The courts will not look at it as a 'positive' rather a negative.  However, if you work things out not only will you win, but save money for your children's future.

I am sure you know that you can never control 'what comes out of her' nor can she control what comes out of you: However, you have the power to control YOUR feelings, emotions to a level of a positive result for your children's sake Jason.  YOUR CHILDREN's sake.

Find a way to reach middle ground maybe a 'mediation' hearing would work? I know that you think that your way, which it very well may be OK, is the right way: However, there are TWO sides to this story: Your side and Your ex's side.  Until you find a medium or a way to compromise non of you including your children will come out of this un scathed.

Good Luck
Jeff

Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Jeff Laatsch

Expertise

WA Law with respect to family court issues: order to show cause/notice of motions, establishing or modification of an order, custody, visitation, child support, parenting schedules, mediation, preparations and filings of all documents: International relocation experience: Create a win/win/win situation between Mom-Children-Dad...

Experience

Self taught and experience with working with various Court Clerks.

Education/Credentials
Masters Degree

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.