What are my parental rights? Can I keep joint custody of 16 y/o even if they want to live with the other parent?

Asked about 1 year ago - Broken Arrow, OK

The other parent has filed a motion to modify because our oldest child 16 y/o decided they wanted to live with them a few months ago. I am custodial parent but we have had joint custody for over ten years and we have each had equal 50/50 visitation time. Now my oldest doesn't wish to see me much at all after a few months living with the other parent :( My youngest 13 y/o still wants the schedule to remain the same as it has been which I am so grateful to hear! My question is do I have a chance of keeping the joint custody plan for both children even if older sibling doesn't wish to see me as much right now? I am still hoping things will turn around soon & they will want to see me more often again. What are my parental rights & what are my chances keeping joint custody for both kids?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Carla Leann Harcourt


    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Yes. Custody and visitation are mutually exclusive. Custody is the legal right to make decisions regarding a child. Visitation is the time each parent spends with the child. Even though the child maybe living with the other parent, you can still be joint custodian. You will need a revision of the joint custody plan and that will probably require a lawyer.

  2. Kevin H. Pate

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Ms. Harcourt has nailed the distinction on custody and visitation for you. I'm not clear why the other attorney told you something so very different. It is very possible to have joint legal custody and not have equal physically present parenting time. And, while courts will give some weight to where an older teen prefers to live, that continues to be balanced on what is in the best interests of the child.
    Absurd allegations, at last those that are clearly absurd, tend to help the other party more than the party who is asserting the absurdity, as that party has their credibility diminished in the eyes of the court.

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