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what to do to change custody of out of state 16yr old?

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by needhelp35, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My ex has had custody of our child for 14 years. 2 years ago they moved to Texas. Seeing as our child was 14 and really wanted to go, I didn't fight it because I figured I didn't have any reason to other than I didn't want my child to be so far away so why put my child thru that. Our child is now 16 and wants to live with me but my ex wont allow it. I wont take my child out of school, I get our child for the summer, what steps do I need to take to get custody? Which state has jurisdiction? The state that signed the custody order or the state my child has now lived for 2 years? Do I tell my ex when I pick up our child for the summer or do I wait until I have already taken my child back with me? I have no idea where to start. Please help.
     
  2. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    First of all, you need a much better reason to change a custody agreement than the whims of a 16 year old. Talk to the child and your ex and find out what is behind this. There may be a mutually agreeable solution or you might decide things are best as they are and 16 year old has a case of "Greener Grass Syndrome."
     
  3. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    our child has been begging to live with me since the beginning. at first for obvious reasons, at 6 and 7 because of being bullied by the children of the person my ex was living with, plenty of times just because life isn't as hard with me. all of those times I have tried to speak with my ex and it only made our childs life harder. my ex knows how to intimidate and guilt and is too smart to abuse in a way that can be seen or recorded. I have been told all thru my childs life the only way I can get custody is for my child to stand up in court against my ex and tell why but my child has always been too afraid. At 16 my child is still afraid of my ex but is finally ready to say, I want to live with you. I know my ex loves our child and has overall be a good parent but my ex is also a controller.
     
  4. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Told by whom? Judges may take a child's wishes into account but they are not obligated to do so. Further, it takes more than just not caring for the custodial parent's parenting style or personality to get a change of custody. If the ex is a good parent who loves and cares for the child, and has had custody since the child was 2, then your chances of getting full custody are nil. Now if the child is actually being abused, it first needs to be reported to CPS. Do not wait until a custody hearing to act. Not to mention you need more to prove abuse than just your say so. Only do this is there is genuine abuse. A strict parent is not necessarily abusive. Be prepared to explain why you waited 14 years to take action against the abuse and change custody as well.
     
  5. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    A parent can file for any modification he/she chooses however the petitioner needs to show it sin child's best interest to make this change. As stated earlier you need more than child's wishes. Most children (teens more so) desire to live with parent with fewest restrictions. If there is abuse then get some documentaiton and also report the abuise or tell child to report abuse to a mandated reporter like school counselor.
     
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  6. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    told by a local lawyer. and yes I know enough to know that it will still be up to the judges discretion. I have told local cps before and apparently abuse doesn't count unless your child is in fear of its life. mental and emotional abuse is not considered abuse. its like you said, just "a strict parent". My concerns are not for the mental and emotional, I have been thru it myself both with one of my parents and also with my ex for many years before our child came along, and I have always been there to support and help my child thru that and helped my child to understand why that parent is that way, how to cope, ensured my child that it is not my child's fault, and to give the spiritual support to be strong in spite of the ex's 'parenting style'. I am simply trying to find out what is the best way of going about giving my child a voice for once.
     
  7. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Your child will get a voice the day the child turns 18. At that point, the child may move out, move in with you, move in with someone else, or whatever they choose. Children under 18 must abide by their parents unless there is an extremely compelling reason to remove them from the home. Mental and emotional abuse are reasons to remove a child but what a teenager thinks is oppressive and abusive and what the law sees as such, are vastly different. Controlling isn't going to cut it.
     
  8. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    @ Elle - which is why I have waited so long =( fighting something I couldn't prove would have only made his life worse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  9. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    @ shrink - technically my house is more restrictive. my child wants to exercise his religious freedom and cannot do so with my ex because my ex has decided that he can make all his own decisions except for his religious choice. living with my ex he can date, get pierced ears, tattoos, parties, holidays, presents, birthday parties, come and go as he chooses, hang out with whom ever he chooses, etc. he just has to do his homework, keep up his grades, do his chores, be respectful, and babysit occasionally. In my home, he has to keep up with chores, homework and grade, plus he has to strictly live according to bible principles, we don't celebrate holidays or birthdays, he would not be allowed to date until he turned 18, I would have to approve his choice in friends and he and his friends would have to be accompanied by an adult, he would have to get rid of his earrings, etc. and yet knowing all of this, this is what he wants. I have asked him repeatedly if he is sure he is ready to give all that up and live like this and he insists he does.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  10. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    And your ex is the one who is controlling?
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    My goodness, just my goodness.
     
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  12. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    @ Elle - all of my rules can be backed by the Bible and he is the one who wants to live by Bible standards. So he is choosing to allow God to tell him what he can and cannot do. I have an open policy in my home. Any rule any of my children don't agree with I have to prove from scripture that it would not be pleasing to God or that it puts them at risk of disobeying God. If I cannot clearly show that with the Bible only, no other religious publication, then the rule is nullified. My ex did not allow me to have any friends, he would not allow me to spend time with my parents, if I could somehow gain a tiny bit of freedom from him, he would call me every five minutes to check in on me, when our child was 2 I was told if I did not sign over custody I would never see my child again. By the time I found out that wasn't true it was too late. My ex uses many of the same tactics to make sure our child does not leave the authority of his house, he is going on 16 and is not being taught to drive, I was married to my ex at 16 til 21 never taught to drive, any time I wanted to leave I was either guilted or intimidated, when I found the courage to stand up, my finger was twisted, my arm grabbed tightly, or held down in a way that told me he was stronger and I was powerless. I have never tried to talk my child in to wanting to live with me, I have only tried to help my child live the best possible life and how to deal with what ever circumstances he has had to the best way possible. I have always told him to be obedient and respectful to my ex and supported my ex anytime there was a need for proper discipline even when he felt such was taking away one of his weekends with me. My child has come to me and asked me to live with me, knowing full well our beliefs and the type of lifestyle that is required. That is not ME CONTROLLING ANYONE. Go ahead and laugh at my beliefs. I came here for help not ridicule. But I will still show respect for anyone elses way of life as long as such does not cause harm to another.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  13. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    The Bible is absolutely irrelevant for this discussion and if you even try to bring that up in court you're going to get slammed so quickly your head will spin.

    The bottom line is you don't appear to have a change of circumstances and you NEED that. If you have a CoC, THEN you need to convince the court that custody should be changed as a result.

    Now I'm going to take it step by step.

    Define "religious freedom"

    In other words he's a good kid doing good kid things. Kudos to Dad.

    So... when he comes home next week and has decided that he's going to become a Wiccan priest, you'd be fine with that, yes?

    Why have you put him in the middle? Why have you put that enormous burden onto his shoulders? And why on earth do you think you have the power to control what happens in Dad's house?
     
  14. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, he is a good kid. Yes, I have given plenty of kudos to dad as I did as well in one of my earlier comments. If he decided he wanted to change his religious beliefs in a way that I did not want done in my home ( like his dad right now ) and his dad supported his decision and was willing to allow him to do so in his home ( like I am right now ) then yes I would still love him, support his decision, and on top of that I would take him to his dad and allow him to live with him his way. Finally, I have not put him in the middle. He has repeatedly come to me, I know from multiple experiences that if I go to his dad HIS DAD will then go to him, yell at him, guilt him, and intimidate him in to never opening his mouth to me ever again, and on top of that HIS DAD HAS PROMISED I WILL NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN, and I will then have to wait until I have gone thru the court system to force him to allow me to see him, which by the way I don't even know his address, only his city and state and when I pick him up, drop him off or fly him out or back it is thru my ex's parents who are by the way on my side but afraid to speak up because if they do he will never let them see him again either. I know the bible will only get me kicked out of court which is why I never mentioned it in the beginning. It would be nice if the religious freedom would tho since it was his fathers number one reason for taking custody until he chose to no longer practice that religion and later decided he would now not allow our child to either. but im not stupid, I know it has no bearing. I just don't appreciating being attacked or ridiculed for my beliefs.
     
  15. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Ok, just so I know and I don't waste anymore of my or anyone else's time. Me and my child have absolutely nothing to stand on whatsoever, period. Please only respond in regards to this question. I honestly did not get on here to get into a religious discussion. I only want to know about my and my childs legal rights or lack thereof. Thank you to all who have and will give me valid and strictly legal info.
     
  16. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    The reponders are not Lawyers (nor am I) If you want to know if you have a case you need to consult a local Attorney
     
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  17. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Hon, you're missing the point.

    To change custody you need a change of circumstances AND that those changes warrant a change in custody. Nobody was attacked. Nobody was ridiculed. But everyone is wanting you to realize how it looks to a complete stranger.
     
  18. needhelp35

    needhelp35 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I understand how it looks to strangers very well. I do get the point. Perhaps if you were in my situation you might be able to see how your approach could be construed as a little more than just getting to the point. I appreciate your 'point' as just quoted much more than the first. I can understand it much better than when it was surrounded by all the extra that went into the first. I have dealt with criticism for my religious beliefs all my life, it's no surprise the reaction it gets. It was only brought up in response to the comment that my son might have 'greener grass syndrome' so that it was clearly seen that that is certainly not the issue as his grass is much greener on his side from the point of view most people. Any way I do appreciate your response. Thank you.
     
  19. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    You don't have a leg to stand on. None. Child wanting to live someplace else doesn't matter. Child initiating the question does not matter. You can't just wake up one day and go file for a change of custody. well, you can, but you are wasting time. The court approved and apparently you signed off on the current agreement. Before the court will entertain modifying the current agreement, there must be some substantial reason. The move to TX when it happened would have been such a reason. Evidence of abuse can be a reason. Child deciding they wish to practice the other parent's religion, is not.

    Whether rooted in the bible or not, you are attempting to claim the child is being abused because the father is controlling, yet you plan to prohibit dating, earrings, friends you don't approve of, celebrations, and all manner of other "typical" teenage behaviors. What a judge is going to see is two parents both of whom are controlling, though maybe in different ways, and nothing is going to change.
     
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  20. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    The bottom line is you will need to go to court for a change of custody. This will have to be discussed with a lawyer. However, your chances are probably slim to none. Sorry.
     
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