My 15 yr old son wants to live with his dad. He says he is happier there bc he's alone ( dad works a lot). Will the court allow?

Asked 5 months ago - Las Vegas, NV

Divorced 3 years. My son has it made at my house. He hates when I am on him to do homework or chores. He says he's happier at his dads because he gets to "chill" and be alone! Btw I have 2 other boys 10 and 5 (same father) who he says I let them get away with everything. He also says I pick on him, which I don't but I do scold him for name calling and yelling at his siblings. Please help me with advice. I love my son to the moon and back and feel he needs supervision especially since he was caught for smoking pot and I found condoms in his room. He is a typical teenager and his father is rarely home.what teenager doesn't want to be alone. Will the court allow him to live with his father 100% of the time and visit me, when there is no real "issues" at moms?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Keith Pickard

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . This is a relatively common occurrence, particularly involving teens. The standard for a change in custody is that there must have occurred some "material change in circumstances" in the life of the child that negatively effects the child, justifying a change in custody. Unless the father is able to show that there has been some change that justifies a change, no change will be made. Most of the judges understand the situation you describe and will generally hold that the child should remain in the home unless the non-custodial parent can show that to do so would harm the child. Chores and responsibility are hardly a threat of harm, yet lack of supervision and evidence of drug use is certainly a threat of harm. You should always consult with an experienced custody lawyer for advice, but based upon what you've described here, I wouldn't worry too much.

  2. Amanda M Roberts

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . The standard to change custody depends on the physical custody arrangement. If you have joint physical custody the standard to change custody is bet interest. One factor under bet interest is the preference of the child if he is of a suitable age and capacity to state a preference. However, this is only one of many factors the Court must look at when considering best interest. I would document the drug use because it goes to capacity. If you have primary physical custody, Mr. Pickard is correct that the first prong Dad would have to establish is a material change in circumstance then if he overcome that hurdle the Court looks to best interest. I would suggest you consult with an attorney because from Judge to Judge there is a huge difference when it comes to teenage discretion issues.

  3. Israel Lynda Kunin

    Contributor Level 15

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The standard to change custody depends on whether you have primary physical or joint physical. Regardless, Nevada judges differ as to the weight they give a child's testimony, from not at all to based on maturity. I agree with you 100%. Teenagers should not be left alone if at all possible. And parents' parent; not children. But if he is smoking pot at 15, and having sex, you do have a supervision problem.

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