17 year old son refusing to go to Dad's

Sherry - posted on 02/28/2014 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My son just turned 17 years old yesterday. There has been friction and issues between my son and his father for months. Most of it stems from his father introducing his girlfriend of only 3 weeks to my son and his younger brother, but there have been other issues prior to this. They just got married last Saturday after only knowing each other 6-7 months.

My ex was so wrapped up with his relationship that he would leave my son's at his apartment and go spend the night with his then girlfriend. Many times they would not be fed or have food left in the apartment. My oldest was kicked out of my ex's apartment a couple of different times, due to issues and arguments.

With the above situations and others, my oldest son has come to resent his dad. I have encouraged him to go to his dads on 'his' parenting time. He won't, nor will he even talk to him on the phone or answer texts.

I have consulted my attorney and she says as long as I am not trying to stop him from going, this is a situation is between them, and they need to resolve it. Although all the laws say anyone under the age of 18 can NOT decide to not comply with scheduled parenting time, he still refuses to go. My ex stated today that since I am letting him stay at my house, I could be charged with contempt.

I can not physically force my 215lb 17 year old son to go. I can't put him in the car and take him. He has a car and today my ex has forbidden him from driving it, due to the issue with parenting time. I said I can't take the car away because he drives to school and work.

If anyone has been in a similar situation, I would appreciate hearing from you.

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Michelle - posted on 03/01/2014

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Linda: If you keep these comments up I will revoke your posting privileges. If you are having a bad day and can't say anything nice then turn off the computer.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2014

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As Shawnn said, this is really a question for your lawyer. Here in Australia, the courts won't even bother hearing a case involving a child over 16, because they recognise that you can't physically force a child that age against their will. So that would be my advice. But maybe the law where you are is far more strict on this issue. We can't know that.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2014

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Well, I did admit that I mixed this post up with another, but that still doesn't negate my statements other than the one about cheating.

And, sweetheart, while I haven't been through divorce, as I said, happily married 24 years, I HAVE PARTICIPATED in my own parents divorce, along with fighting alongside my husband to protect his rights with his daughter from his previous marriage. And her mother bitterly badmouthed him, and myself, regardless of the fact that our relationship began 7 YEARS after he'd divorced her.

As far as the other statements, just because I'm not in your shoes, doesn't mean my statements about what steps need to be followed are inaccurate. Because those basic steps remain the same.

If your son does not wish to have his visitation time, and your court orders state that he does not have an option, you need to consult your attorney, go back before the judge, and request the court orders amended.

Cheers!

Sherry - posted on 02/28/2014

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I do not bad mouth him, first of all. Secondly, I have been divorced over 7 years, so this new wife and your assumption of me being cheated on are out of line.

I have spoken to my attorney. I was possibly looking to hear from others with similar issues, which obviously you are not one of them.

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Angela - posted on 03/01/2014

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I'm British and I have no idea what the law is where you live. I can only offer some insight and empathy.

It seems clear though that your children's father is angry that he doesn't get contact time with your oldest child. As Shawnn says, he has NO SAY in whether or not your son drives a car that was NOT provided by him, his father.

I'm assuming here that the car is a fairly recent acquisition - that he got the car (presumably from YOU) SINCE the time he decided to break contact with his father. So, his father possibly feels that the car is a "reward" for your boy refusing contact with his Dad. I'm not for one minute suggesting that the car IS a reward, only that his father sees it that way.

It seems that there is resentment on both sides.

The fact he married his present wife after a whirlwind courtship isn't any valid kind of a reason for his son to not want contact - nor is it a valid reason to justify the son's lack of interest.

You both need to put aside personal feelings. Your ex shouldn’t be blaming YOU for your son’s lack of interest in maintaining a relationship with his father. If you are likely to be held accountable by law for your son not visiting his father, then your son needs to let the authorities know that it is his own decision.

Good luck!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/28/2014

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Talk to your lawyer and make sure you are in no way shape or form doing anything wrong. We are not lawyers. We are not lawyers in your state. Your lawyer will know the state laws better than any of us, and can guide you properly. Lawyer up.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2014

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Don't get offended because I told you that the length of his courtship with his new wife doesn't have anything to do with it. That's the truth. You're just upset about that because he cheated on you and betrayed you, but the fact is, the length of the courtship has nothing to do with the problems your son is having.

And, as I said, he should have been capable IF THERE HAD BEEN FOOD. And, that SINCE THERE WASN'T FOOD, THERE WAS AN ISSUE.

Quit reading only the words you want to.

Talk to your attorney. No one here can help you with legal questions.

Oh, and may I add, the more you communicate your bitterness to your son, the more combative he's going to be about going to his fathers, if that is what the court's decision is. You need to quit badmouthing his father. Don't say anything about his father. That way, you can't be seen as 'influencing' his decision.

Sherry - posted on 02/28/2014

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My son is perfectly capable of making a simple meal. The issue was there was no food around, nor any $ left for him to go to the store. When you did your whirlwind marriage after 4 months, did you have children that you needed to be concerned about or worry about their emotional well being? Probably NOT. Thank you for your insight.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2014

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Well, first of all, I must say that his father getting married within 6-7 months after beginning to date someone is irrelevant to the situation. My hubby and I only dated for 4 months, and we've been happily married for 24 years this year.

Second, what age was your son when dad was having the overnight visits? Because if he was 16, he was plenty old enough to know how to fix a simple meal...yes, I agree that dad needed to spend his parenting time with his son, but unless the boy was a little kid, he should have at the very least possessed the skill to fix a meal. The no food at dad's...well, that's something that should have been addressed at the time.

Now, have you asked your attorney what your son's rights are at this point? Because in most states that I know of, the age to decide who to live with, and whether to go for visitations varies between 12 & 16. Not that its that way where you are, but it's something to look into.

And, if it is, as you say, that he cannot make that choice until he's 18, then you need to request another hearing with the judge to let him explain himself. Otherwise, it is entirely possible that you could be charged with contempt. This is a question for your attorney, for sure.

How can your ex forbid him to use a vehicle this is not in the possession of your ex? That makes no sense.

And, we cannot offer legal advice, background or not, because this is an international site. The law in Wyoming differs from Minnesota, etc...and what one person with 'legal background' may tell you will differ from what another will tell you.

The only way for you to get accurate legal advice is to consult with your attorney.

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