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Can my 16yr old decide who he wants to live with, mom or dad?

He does not get along with either his dad or step mom. He wants to come live with me and his dad wont budge. I feel my only option is going to the courts. They make him sit in his room all day and night for days with only his bed. His father and step mother come home from work and look for things to disipline him for. There is no LOVE in that house just a bunch of NEGATIVE emotions toward him. I know he needs punishment from time to time just like any other teenager but I feel as if they treat him like a caged animal. There is no guidance whatsoever just disipline. Help I need advice!! Thank you!

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:59 PM on Mar. 26, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (10)
  • Unfortunately, he can't decide unless he goes to court and tells a judge. They will switch custody or parenting. I switched from my dad to my mom when I was 14.

    Answer by kandimomma at 3:01 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • take it to court. he can tell the judge who he wants to live with and he will be granted with it. i think at the age of 12 a child can decide who to choose to live with. i would def go to court asap with it, sounds like he is a very bad situation and needs to get out.


    Answer by 3HappylKidds at 3:01 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • In most states, around the age of 12 a child can tell the judge who he/she prefers to live with and the judge will usually grant that request. Usually the only time there is a problem is if the parent who currently has custody can prove that the other parent is unfit.

    Answer by KristyB at 3:04 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Does he have visitation with you? While to get the custody arrangement changed you will have to go back to court, if he comes to your house for visits and refuses to go back to his dad's house, there isn't much anyone can do since as his is 16, it's not like they can pick him up and put him in the car.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 3:31 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • the kid has to go to the courts and tell the judge why he wants to live with you

    Answer by sweetangel8211 at 4:12 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I am in the same situation. I had to give up my son two years ago because he was abuse towards me and my daughter. He is 15 now. I want him back and I did tell his dad but he refuses because he doesnt want to pay more child support. My son is failing school, has to clean the whole house, gets emotionally and verbally abused and has to take care of himself because his father is an addict. It is hurting me inside and now that I have met a wonderful man to help me out and we live in a beautiful stable home I want him back. I do have to go back to court to prove to the judge that my ex is an unfit father and at the time my son went to live with his dad I wasnt stable enough to care for my son. But personally I have been told that kids/teenagers cant make their own choice where they want to live unless their current environment is unstable. They cant decide until age 18. So my advice is go back to court

    Answer by Apryl9 at 8:25 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • if you have equal or less custody than his father. you will have to go to court but the 16 year old will be able to decide where he wants to live. you can make that decision at 12. but they will order someone to investigate to see that you are fit to take care of him.

    Answer by TiffanieK at 4:18 AM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • I say maybe in about a year or two. Then whatever choices he or she makes is solely up to them.

    Answer by hotchocolatema1 at 10:56 AM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • Yes, you will have to take the custody issue to court but at 12 or 13 most states allow a child to give their opinion on where they live. Talk to an attorney in your state to find out what the laws are.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 12:48 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • In Fl. at 12 yrs old the child can chose who to live with. Contact the court and get a guardiem ad litem. Since you are his mom you can request 1.

    Answer by Angela_1974 at 8:20 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

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