04
Jan 18

What to Do When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Live With You

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever encounter, and the unconditional love you feel is enough to make you want to do anything in the world for your child. However, sometimes parent/child relationships can become strained, whether it’s due to your behaviors or the behaviors of your child. In most cases, the parent and child need to figure out how to make it work, but in some cases, other options are available. For instance, if you and your ex are divorced and you have sole or joint custody of the child, it’s possible for your child to make up their own mind when they hit a specific age. So what do you do when your child doesn’t want to live with you?

 

Talk to Your Child

If your child is adamant about not wanting to live with you or not wanting to hold any visitation with you, the best thing for you to do is to talk with your child about his/her feelings. Maybe this is just their way of acting out, or maybe they do have some valid concerns that you weren’t completely aware of. By talking with your child, maybe you can work out whatever differences there may be.

 

Talk with a Legal Representative

If your conversations with your child don’t help you resolve the issue, the next step would be to talk with a legal representative about child visitation. In most states, a child is bound by the parenting agreement until he or she is 18. This is only changed if proof of neglect or abuse can be made against one of the parents. In addition, your child may be able to tell the court that he/she doesn’t want to live with you, but that doesn’t mean the court will rule in his/her favor. Instead, your child’s wishes will simply be recorded, but no change will be done in a legal setting.

 

Try Counseling

Sometimes just talking things out with one another doesn’t always work, and you need the help of an unbiased third party. Try to attend some family counseling sessions with your child. Maybe being able to talk openly about feelings in front of someone else will help your child fully understand how their actions are making you feel, and maybe it can allow the both of you to come to a resolution.

 

Decide What You Want to Do

While the court can rule your child is required to stay with you or required to visit you, it doesn’t mean your relationship with your child will get better. Instead, this could actually put more strain on your relationship, and that’s the last thing you want to do. While you want to spend quality time with your child, it’s not always worth it if you’re constantly arguing or fighting. If this is the case, you need to decide what to do as the parent. Do you want to allow your child to have the final say in where they live and how often they see you, or do you want to be the one making the rules? If you decide to allow your child to stay with the other parent, you’ll want to go through the court system to ensure the documentation has been changed.

No parent wants to lose time with their child, but being a parent means being able to make tough decisions when they come your way.  If you find yourself in a situation where your child no longer wants to live with you, use these tips to help the both of you come to an agreement that keeps your relationship strong and healthy.

 

 

 

 


24
Mar 15

Why it’s Important to File Custody with the Courts Instead of a Verbal Agreement

Going to court for child custody can be time consuming and expensive. Because of this, many parents often decide to ditch the courtroom altogether and instead create a verbal custody agreement. These agreements can be anything from one parent seeing the child every other weekend to both parents getting equal time with the child.

Even if you and your ex get along and both have the best interest of your child in mind, it’s still important that you file your custody with the courts instead of simply having a verbal agreement.

 Situations are going to change.

Many parents create this verbal agreement based on their current situations without looking toward the future. The problem is that both parents’ situations are going to change over time, and this will put you in a bind when it comes to custody.

For example, if one parent gets a promotion that will force them to move, this will cause an issue with your verbal agreement. The moving parent may want to bring the child with them, but the non-moving parent will want the child to stay close. This will likely cause a blowout that is not healthy for your child, and the two of you will just end up in court anyway.

If you make the arrangement in court, these types of situations can be settled before they arise. Also, you and your ex can always decide to go back to court when situations change or your custody agreement needs to be revamped. This will always keep your child’s best interests at the forefront.

 You won’t have anything legally binding you.

When you have a verbal agreement, it makes it easier for you and your ex to break it. For example, you may have a verbal agreement that says you’ll both pay 50/50 when it comes to your child’s educational and extracurricular needs. When you don’t have a legal agreement, your ex could decide to back out on this part of the agreement at any time, putting you fully responsible for footing the bill.

When you legally file custody, your agreement is set in stone and you or your ex cannot back out. If your agreement says that you will split costs and your ex doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain, you can take them back to court where they can either be forced to pay you or they can serve jail time for breaking the agreement.

 It defines the parents’ responsibilities.

When you have a verbal agreement, your parenting responsibilities may not be entirely thought out. For example, you may decide to take your child to see one doctor, but your ex may decide to take them to another doctor. This isn’t beneficial for your child.

When you are filed through the courts, they will decide the type of custody both parents receive. For example, if you have joint legal custody, then both parents need to be in agreement when it comes to the upbringing of the child. This means that parents will need to agree on medical care, school, and other items. If you have sole legal custody of your child, then you and you alone get to make these decisions for your child without input from the other parent. Having this determined by the courts will make raising your child easier.