My son wants to live with his dad! I am crushed!

Ginny - posted on 06/14/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have had sole custody of my 13 year old son since he was 4 years old. My ex lived 5 hours away. He commuted every other weekend to see our son and we got along better than most married couples (because I chose to not argue with him) I included him in everything. Family Christmas, birthdays etc...We had no set arrangement but we managed to work it out together.
I was in a toxic family business and I quit my job ( in Ontario, Canada) and asked my ex husband if
we could move (together) out to British Columbia. He had nothing holding him back. I bought a condo
and we planned for a year to move here. I got a really good job. We moved in October 2015.
My ex was late getting here (he got here at Christmas)...Decided that he didn't like it (after only 3 months) and moved back to Ontario. And now he is about to try and get the custody switched so he can move our son to Ontario. I am absolutely devastated. He (and my son) have been planning this behind my back. And my 13 year old son has been doing research too. My ex hasn't' discussed any of this with me. I just found out from a friend. I understand a need for a 13 year boy to have a dad. I was willing to give my son up for summer/march break/christmas etc....I was willing to make sure he saw his dad. I make sure he is in contact with his dad always.
My ex is a hothead. Road rage, etc...cannot control his temper. Although, to my knowledge has never talked like that to my son (but in front of my son), my son has gone there for 8 days and only had 1 shower, doesn't brush his teeth, eats hotdogs & junk (primarily not as a treat) and my ex has never once asked for my sons report card, taken him to the dentist, doctors, etc...I am not exaggerating....His home that he lived in last was filthy. My sons sheets aren't cleaned. He has no rules. And he drinks every day. And every one he hangs out with drinks a lot. I am so scared. Mostly concerned about my sons education and the potential for premature alcohol consumption. The town my ex wants my son to move to has a bad reputation and the school system is not good there. I strongly feel I need to fight this because I truly don't believe it's in my sons best interest...But I am going to be left with a resentful child because he wants to go. I am seeking a family therapist to talk to and get advice. I feel as his mom that I need to do what I feel is best for him until he is 18 whether he likes me or not. I hate this. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Thank you.

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Nadine - posted on 06/14/2016

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I went through this with my son. What hurt was the sneaking around. He was 14. Within 6 months he wanted to move back, but did not want to tell his father. Nope, was not happening. If he wanted to move back he would have to be honest, none of this sneaking around. He moved back to our city at 17, on his own. It took a while, but we worked it out. the appeal of no rules for a teenager is a strong draw. The courts will listen to what the kid wants. It sucks, but in the end, even if the courts would support you, your son would probably resent you making him stay with you.

Jsirerasalvador - posted on 06/14/2016

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My first thought is that you should be supportive of your sons choice to live with his father and let him know if he changes his mind and would like to return home, he always can. I imagine that once the excitement and newness of living with dad wears off, he'll be ready to go back to a clean home, good food and his momma! Best of luck! I hope it works out!

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