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At what age should siblings of the opposite sex separate rooms and have their own?

Houston, TX |

My son's mother has an older daughter and I just found out that my son is still having to share a room with her. The daughter is 9 and my son is 7. At what age should they be in their own separate rooms?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

About right now would be advisable

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Posted

There's just not going to be an "answer" for that. Some people feel one way on the subject, some feel another, and there's nothing wrong with either position--unless the judge says there is. Judges fall into both camps on this, and it would be likely to depend on the specifics of the situation. One prime consideration will probably be the REASON for them sharing a room. Is it a three bedromm house, but mom "needs" to have a workout room, or is it a two bedroom apartment mom can barely afford on a minimum wage salary? If the judge takes custody away in the latter situation, assuming the kids were actually doing just fine at mom's, that's penalizing her for no other reason than not being wealthy enough to afford three bedrooms. Kids sharing rooms, even older kids of opposite sexes, is not as unusual as you might think, and ultimately is probably not that big a deal. I myself had to share a room with my little brother for awhile when we moved to a two bedroom house when I was 11. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the situation, but it certainly didn't harm either of us.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to simply talk to your son about how everything's going fr him living with his mom and sister. If your son is actually having problems with the room arrangement, then that of course might justify you doing something to change it, either by going to court or just talking to his mom. If you do go to vourt, the judge's view of things would realistically also depend on what sort of improvements you, as the father, could provide if your son came to live with you. Housing is far from the only consideration on that, so if you're thinking of taking this to court, please start by finding a good family law attorney who can help you represent your case to the court.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for the advice. Yes she as moved over the course of maybe 3 to 4 years 9 to 10 times. My son is only in 1st grade and has been to 6 or 7 schools which is totally unstable in my eyes but if I were to get custody he would be changing schools yet again. So I am trying to move closer to his school that way it wouldn't be a big change if I were to get custody. Recently she had a three bedroom and my son had his own room but then tells me she took him out of his room to move her co-worker in and now moved to another 3 bedroom and has moved her mother in so there is no choice but for him to share a room due to the number of people living there. I have a stepson the same age as my son and they share a room at my house which actually works out quite well because they enjoy a lot of the same things but so have their own styles custom to them. He has stated to me that his sister makes him feel bad because of how she treats and talks to him. We have even had problems with her teaching, showing, doing, and saying inappropriate things to him and rose an issue about it but nothing was ever really done about it. I guess they figure its his sibling and it will eventually work out. Not too sure about that... But he does cry whenever he has to go home and asks could he stay with me, so I'm starting to think its a sign of distress but not sure if I have enough of substantial changes to get custody.

M Elizabeth Gunn

M Elizabeth Gunn

Posted

Given that many schools and people moving in and out like that, it sounds like maybe mom's basic instability is his real problem, not just the room arrangement. I'd certainly say there's the potential for a custody modification given all that, but the reality is that if that's something you're considering, it really would be a good idea to consult an attorney right now. It sounds like your son probably can't have been in his current school very long, and if he's not established there, it might be more reasonable to just try to schedule a hearing so he could go to the school near you next year Given that it's early April now, you should probably still have time to do that if you act quickly. Good luck.

Posted

In the State of Texas, there is no law that addresses this matter.

It's nice if the children have separate bedrooms, but some families cannot afford to put children in separate bedrooms. A judge uses their common sense in this matter. If a family cannot afford to rent/own a residence that is large enough for everyone to have separate bedrooms but the children are well cared for then then the judge will not move them. The judge must look at the entire picture. A judge considers all facts regarding custody - in Texas it is "best interests of a child" and changing custody places the burden on the parent wanting to change custody to prove that that the parent that currently has custody that they have done something "wrong" in order to change the custody. Merely having the children in the same bedroom is not enough.

I hope this information is helpful. If you need more information, then you need to consult with a family law attorney in person. There are many fine family law attorneys in the Houston area. Look on this website & meet with one. Good luck!

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