My son lives with me and visits with his dad. My son got a job at a camp for 6 weeks and half of that time is on the fathers time and will not permit him to work on his time. His father works full time and will be leaving him home todo nothing. What can I do about this? Can my son talk to a judge with me?
Criminal Defense Attorney
You can file a petition to modify the existing order, given your son is over 14 his opinion will be given great weight...
Mr. Gonzale's advice is excellent. Certainly, the father has the right to reasonable visitation, but ultimately the standard for custody is "what's in the best interests of the child". Working summers as a camp counselor is the first responsible job for many adolescents and certainly healthier than sitting around his father's home. The child is a person, not an object to be fought over. Not only will the child's opinion be given great weight as a teenager, but it's likely the Attorney for the Child will agree with you and the child, so even if his father fights the modification petition, he will probably not prevail.
Perhaps adjustment of visitation during the rest of the year or other vacations is an option too, as is mediation (highly recommended and often offered for free through the family courts). Make sure an Attorney for the Child is appointed and request of the court that one be appointed. Hire a family law attorney to represent you for best results.
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Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
Yes, the fact that he is 15 years old gives him a voice in this action. You may be able to modify the arrangement.
You would be well-served to discuss your dilemma with a New York domestic relations attorney in a confidential forum as soon as possible.
I agree with the other posters - your remedy would be to file a petition for modification. If his proposed work hours do not substantially interfere with the time the father would actually be able to spend with the child, I don't see a Judge disallowing the job opportunity. That said, I encourage you to schedule a follow-up consultation with a NYC Child Custody lawyer.
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