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My 16 year old son found a weekend job, but his father is angry because it interferes with his every other weekend visits.

We have been separated since my kids were 5, and 3, they are now 16, and 15. When he left he moved over an hour away and remarried, the moved about 4 times and stayed over an hour away. They divorced and he remarried to a person in the same town, and they have moved at least 4 times, and stayed over an hour away. He sees the kids every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. He has only taken them in the summer for the two weeks once. He hasn't gone to any activities over the years because he is so for away. My 16 year old is a junior, who drives. He is in the IB program so every class is college level and during the week he studies between 2 and 3 hours a night , so working during the week is not an option. He found a job on the weekends making decent money, its not every weekend it's when they need him for events. He told his dad, and he said he couldn't do it on his weekend. My son told him, if I tell them I'm only available every other weekend they will find someone else. He let him stay home and work this weekend, but said it was the last time. If he lived closer this wouldn't be an option, he could see his father and work. He is also frustrated because he works so hard all week, he would like to see his friends on the weekend, and when he goes to his dads he can't. Should a 16 year old still have to go every weekend, and not have a job until he is 18?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:12 AM on Oct. 20, 2013 in Parenting Debate

This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Dad can be invited to participate in other ways. Texts, phone calls, make a father son outing scheduled a head of time. At that age quality time counts too. Dad does have the right to be there and present. It is important they have time together. Perhaps finding new ways. Dinner out during the week days could be good. Relationships take work. Dad needs to carve out new ways now that his son is getting older.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:24 PM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • He doesn't have to go to his dad's. If his dad refuses to put forth the effort to come see him, why should he give up his job and his friend's to go see his dad. He is old enough to choose what he wants to do.

    Answer by kmath at 10:01 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • Dad's got to get over the fact that your son is growing up!! At 16 I wasn't going to my mom's that much either.... I had a life on the weekends!! Legally he is old enough to make the choice for himself! Dad can't force him to go!!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:26 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • Dad needs to realize that his kids are of an age that their schedules and priorities take precedent over his. Let your son work and if dad wants to he can take it to court and let a judge tell him its ok for his kid to have a job. I raised three boys thru this same thing. Dad is probably just realizing that he's missed out on a lot of their childhoods and is try ing to be the boss now. It doesn't work. By the time he is heard in court, weeks if not months will have passed...

    Answer by Nimue930 at 10:07 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • He should be proud of him for taking the initiative at that age and taking on the responsibility of a job. He is old enough to decide if he wants to visit anyhow. I would see about looking over the custody / visitation order (if you have it somewhere convenient) and regrading specifics about when the child can refuse visitation and if it isn't in there then maybe call an attorney and ask them. Or the courts.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:52 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • Legally he is old enough to not go to his dads unless he want to. I think your other child is to. Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
    This is what I would do. I would inform the ex. The kids will be doing what they want from now on. Work, friends, ect. If you can't deal with that. Bring me to court.

    Answer by louise2 at 9:19 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • I can't really add anything to what the other ladies have said. The boy is growing up & dad needs to deal with it. He could be having pangs of regret, but that's his issue, not your son's. Your son is doing what most teens do at this age, having a life of his own, which means less time for the parents. GL

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 11:07 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • Then you are divorced not separated if he remarried.
    This mean that you have a custody order in place.
    By the age of 16 (or before) certain normal activities interfere with everyone's life, including studying for school and prom.
    Parents have to be able to allow their children to grow, but in the end your son is making his choice. Stick by him.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:32 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • No. No. No. No. And No.

    Your child is not old enough to defy a court order. Your child is not old enough to decide he doesn't have to go. There is no such age. Period. Ever. Your child is old enough to go to the court and express a preference, and if he shows himself to be mature enough to understand the situation, have that preference taken into consideration by the judge. Doesn't mean he'll get what he asks for, either.

    It is always, and 100% up to the judge until the day the child turns 18.

    Answer by desert_diva at 11:26 AM on Oct. 20, 2013

  • Go to court. While desertdiva is correct that it's up to the judge, if you have a documented history of dad's dealings with the kids, the judge will say, "too bad, so sad, the kids get to do what they want now."

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:19 PM on Oct. 20, 2013