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  1. #1
    jorobda is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Age when a child can make visitation decisions

    What is the name of your state? Florida
    My son usually visits his father in NY during all his schools breaks. I have always sent him even though he would rather stay home. He is going to be 12 years old this year and has expressed to me very strongly that he would like to spend spring break at home so he can be with his friends for the first time. He asked his father and his father feels that it is not his decision and wants him on a plane for break and that one day his son will appreciate what he is doing. I am torn because I know that his father would like to see him, but I also feel my son knows what he wants to do and should be able to make that decision now. I was also told before moving to FL that the court listens to children at around age 12. I don't know what do to because break is in two weeks. Please help.
    Last edited by jorobda; 03-09-2006 at 05:35 PM.
  2. #2
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    You're not going to get into court w/in two weeks, even if the kid WAS allowed to make the choice (he's not). Put him on the plane - his father is right.
  3. #3
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorobda
    What is the name of your state? Florida
    My son usually visits his father in NY during all his schools breaks. I have always sent him even though he would rather stay home. He is going to be 12 years old this year and has expressed to me very strongly that he would like to spend spring break at home so he can be with his friends for the first time. He asked his father and his father feels that it is not his decision and wants him on a plane for break and that one day his son will appreciate what he is doing. I am torn because I know that his father would like to see him, but I also feel my son knows what he wants to do and should be able to make that decision now. I was also told before moving to FL that the court listens to children at around age 12. I don't know what do to because break is in two weeks. Please help.
    It is your JOB to make sure your son has a relationship with his father by sending him. You need to encourage it and aid it. You dont' need to side with your son regarding this. You need to side with his father. What would you do if you saw your son a few times a year and he decided not to come see you? you wouldn't like it. If you don't send him, you are contempt and dad could walk back into court and sue you. If you do it more than once, the judge is likely to hand dad custody and put the shoe on the other foot. Think about it.
  4. #4
    Gracie3787 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorobda
    I was also told before moving to FL that the court listens to children at around age 12.
    Whoever told you that sure gave you the wrong info. IF there is a modification of visitation , a Judge MAY hear the child's testimony, but only AFTER the other parent is served notice/request for testimony, does not object, and the Judge does not object to a child's testimony. However, even at ages 12 to 18 the Judge CANNOT change/lessen visitation simply because the child doesn't want to see the other parent. Florida courts are very very firm about NCP visitation rights.
  5. #5
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gracie3787
    Whoever told you that sure gave you the wrong info. IF there is a modification of visitation , a Judge MAY hear the child's testimony, but only AFTER the other parent is served notice/request for testimony, does not object, and the Judge does not object to a child's testimony. However, even at ages 12 to 18 the Judge CANNOT change/lessen visitation simply because the child doesn't want to see the other parent. Florida courts are very very firm about NCP visitation rights.
    I can't entirely agree that at least some judges won't make some changes in visitation based on the child's wishes. I only say that because I have seen judges do it.

    In this case we have an adolescent who gets no school breaks at all at home (at least that is my assuming based on OP's first post in the thread). I think its possible that a judge might modify things to give the child at least a little bit of his holidays at home. I am not suggesting that dramatic modifications would necessarily be made....but I have seen a judge take a child's wishes into consideration to at least a small extent....and make some modifications.

    I also personally think that it would be wise for dad to do so as well....or maybe invite a friend to join them for spring break. While some kids might later thank dad for sticking to his guns and not compromising, its equally true that the child could resent it enough to see age 18 as "freedom day"....and that would NOT be good.
  6. #6
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorobda
    I am torn because I know that his father would like to see him, but I also feel my son knows what he wants to do and should be able to make that decision now. I was also told before moving to FL that the court listens to children at around age 12. I don't know what do to because break is in two weeks. Please help.
    So, you moved to FL. Thus, Dad CAN'T see his kid EOW now, right? So school breaks are the limited btime periods Dad gets to see his son, as it CAN'T happen on a weekly basis because YOU MOVED OUT OF STATE.

    I remember my then-teen brother not wanting to accompany our family when we went out of town on family vacations because he wanted to hang with his friends and play golf. Guess what? Mom and Dad said HE*L NO! You are a kid, you WILL spend this time with the family, YOU don't call the shots!"

    And, yes, even though what he "wanted" was to stay home and not be obligated to spend time with family, now that he is dad to three kids, he is very happy he was NOT allowed to simply choose whether he had an obligation to be with his family or not. Actually Dad died maybe three years later. Turned out to be one of his last times to spend concentrated time with his father. Good thing he went!
    Last edited by nextwife; 03-09-2006 at 06:48 PM.
  7. #7
    stepmomndad is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorobda
    What is the name of your state? Florida
    My son usually visits his father in NY during all his schools breaks. I have always sent him even though he would rather stay home. He is going to be 12 years old this year and has expressed to me very strongly that he would like to spend spring break at home so he can be with his friends for the first time. He asked his father and his father feels that it is not his decision and wants him on a plane for break and that one day his son will appreciate what he is doing. I am torn because I know that his father would like to see him, but I also feel my son knows what he wants to do and should be able to make that decision now. I was also told before moving to FL that the court listens to children at around age 12. I don't know what do to because break is in two weeks. Please help.
    Just out of curiosity, is it truly ALL SCHOOL BREAKS? I consider school breaks even a long weekend. And, there is normally a long weekend each month. So, you get that time with him. Plus, every weekend and each day. Why should dad not have the chance to visit him for spring break, winter break, and the summer. It's not asking that much.
  8. #8
    daddyof3 Guest

    son goes or he could be living with dad eventually

    dad is correct-it is NOT your son's decision. as other posters stated, he either goes, or you'll find yourself in court answering to contempt charges. when your son is 18, he can make the choice not to see his father, untill then, he goes, period, he has no choice.
  9. #9
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorobda
    I also feel my son knows what he wants to do and should be able to make that decision now.
    So.... when your son gets up in the morning and decides he doesn't want to go to school, you're okay with that decision - right? Because he knows what he wants to do and should be able to make that decision.
  10. #10
    daddyof3 Guest

    you son cant decide hes not going to see dad untill hes 18

    sorry,your son is a child, and children dont get to make those kind of decisions. you are in danger of eventually losing custody to his father if you continue to let your son decide he isnt going to visit dad, so if i were you, i would put my foot down, and stop letting your son make decisions hes not legally able to make, such as wether or not hes going to see his father.
  11. #11
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    K-dar is up and operating. Period.

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