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My son wants to decide whether or not when he wants to go to his dads house whom i was never married to. he wants to be able to go to court and speak with the judge in his chambers and tell him what he wants. he has anxiety and is eleven and is on medication for it, when his enxiety is bad he wants to be home with me.

My son wants to make his own decision on visitation at age eleven can he do this in court

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Asked by jonsmom1 at 4:39 PM on Jul. 8, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (8)
  • I think it depends on the state but I don't see why not. Contact the judge or your lawyer (if you have one). If he doesn't want to see his dad sometimes then he should be able to make that decision. Especially if it's because of anxiety. As someone who suffers from anxiety I can tell you that being where you feel safest is the best thing. Being anywhere that you are uncomfortable will make it worse, even with medication.

    Answer by amethystrse at 4:45 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • Sound like a pretty smart kid to me. At least explore the possibilty with the courts. If the judge tells him no then at least you aren't the bad guy.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 7:42 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • Each state varies. I am pretty sure a guardian ad litem would be appointed for the child. I really dont think that is in a childs interest as they know nothing in mental health.

    Answer by perfectkitten at 10:00 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • In most states kids have to be 12 before they would be able to do this, but it's also on a case by case bases. Remember to make sure that it's understood that this is your SON'S idea, his wish. You don't want his dad saying that you are just trying to get your son away from him, ya know what I mean?

    Answer by Quayla at 1:40 AM on Jul. 10, 2008

  • My heart goes out to you. Yes. He is too young to make these decisions. There are times when his illness is speaking for him and only you can tell the difference. You need to go to court with him and explain to the judge that while you want to allow him a relationship with his father, YOU and you alone must decide when and what is appropriate. The short term answer is allow him to do what he feels, the long term answer is protect him from his illness. When you feel it is SAFE for him to visit...allow it...when you feel he only wants to visit dad to escape...dont allow it. I wish you peace with your decision.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:59 AM on Jul. 10, 2008

  • My sons best friend went through this. He ended having to see a therapist and the therapist told the court that he should not have to go back to his fathers. He was having night mares and would make himself sick about having to go. He was 9 or 10 when all of this happened and he has not had to go back since. If you have any questions send me a private message. and Good Luck I know it is difficult

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 9:04 PM on Jul. 10, 2008

  • In California they have to be 13 to speak for themselves in court. Otherwise, special circumstances fall into play like the maturity level of the child and the home situation. I believe the youngest age under considerations would be 12.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:27 AM on Jul. 19, 2008

  • I really hate seeing mental illness being treated as a "lifelong Plague" I would have to know more of a background to really make an assumption. There is a reason for anxiety attacks. Protect him from his illness? I don't agree with that analogy either. I think if both parents are involved than it is both parents responsibility to care for that child and that child's best interest. That is the problem with the court system. A guardian ad litem might be appointed and will speak on the childs behalf and best interest and they know NOTHING about mental health. So, it will be interesting to see how this ends.

    Answer by perfectkitten at 2:43 AM on Aug. 30, 2008

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